Large and black with extremely long, angular, pointed wings and forked tail. Hooked bill long and gray. Male entirely black, glossy above, with red throat pouch. Displaying male inflates balloon-like red throat-pouch. Feet and legs tiny and dark. Female has white patch on chest and pale patches on top of wings. Immatures have all-white heads and extensive white on the breast and belly plus pale patches on top of wings. Similar to Great Frigatebird; male differs from Magnificent by brown bar on upperwing and pinkish feet. Female differs by pale throat and red orbital ring.
Length: 102 (cm) Wingspan: 229 (cm)
At nesting colony makes various clicks and grating calls.
Found offshore or near land over shallow water and lagoons.
Robs other birds of their food. Spends much of time flying with deep, loose wing beats or soaring; never lands on beaches or water. Rests on towers, masts, or trees. Bathes by diving downward and skimming across the surface of the water (see photo essay by Steven Mlodinow published in the BirdFellow journal 10 April 2009).
Diet consists of fish, squid, turtles, crabs, and jellyfish.
Expanded Life History
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Most immatures (and some females) Great Frigatebirds have buffy heads (throats in females); the heads of immature Magnificent Frigatebirds are white, though this color fills in brown as the bird agesby Steven Mlodinow on June 25, 2010 at 08:43 pm
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