San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Saturday, March 13, 2010


"Magnificent" is not an adjective here; it's name is Magnificent Frigate Bird or Magnificent Frigatebird.

This is an adult male. You may have to click to enlarge this photo to see his red chest pouch. During mating season, his chest inflates into a balloon in order to attract females. I love this bird.

Magnificent Frigatebirds are aerobatic superstars without peer and do not walk well. They usually roost on cliffs or trees from which they can simply drop off and sail into air currents, barely moving their legs, and can remain aloft for a week at a time. Females have white chests. She is the sky's elegant royalty.
Females in flight. These birds simply take my breath away!
Their diet is primarily fish, but they attack other seabirds to pirate their meals rather than landing on the water! Their oil gland is very small, their wings have little or no natural waterproofing, and they don't swim or dive.