Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The frigatebird (also known as the man of war bird and the pirate bird) is a species of sea-bird found in warmer, tropical regions. Frigatebirds are thought to be most closely related to pelicans giving rise to another name for them, which is the frigate pelican.
The frigatebird has the largest wingspan in comparison to it's body of any bird species in the world, so the frigatebird is naturally an adept pilot. Frigatebirds have been known to stay in the air for nearly a whole week and only land on the rocky cliffs to breed or to rest.
Unlike the incredible flying ability of the frigatebird, the frigatebird is unable to walk that well and cannot swim. Frigatebirds have a diet that consists of marine animals and so frigatebirds have to pluck their prey from the water without landing as they are unable to take-off from a flat surface such as water.
Frigatebirds are sea-birds and therefore tend to have a meat-based carnivorous diet. Firgatebirds primarily eat fish including flying fish, along with crustaceans, molluscs and even small sea turtles.
Due to the large size of the frigatebird and the fact that the frigatebird spends the majority of it's life in the air, frigatebirds have few natural predators with humans being the main predator of the frigatebird. Introduced species such as rats, stoats and domestic cats are commonly found hunting frigatebirds and their eggs on the land.
Female frigatebirds lay only one egg every couple of years as the frigatebird chicks taken an average of 9 months to rear. Both the male frigatebird and the female frigatebird feed their chick for the first few months but the male frigatebird will then leave the colony leaving the female frigatebird to do the rest of the rearing by herself.