Magnificent Frigatebird

About the Magnificent Frigatebird

Also known as: Man O'War

The Magnificent Frigatebird is widespread in the tropical Atlantic, breeding colonially in trees in Florida, the Caribbean and Cape Verde Islands. It also breeds along the Pacific coast of the Americas from Mexico to Ecuador including the Galapagos Islands.

Males are all black with a scarlet throat pouch which is inflated like a balloon in the breeding season. Although the feathers are black, the scapular feathers are iridescent and produce a purple colour when they refract sunlight.

The Magnificent Frigatebird is silent in flight, but makes various rattling sounds at its nest. Frigatebirds never land on water, and always take their food items in flight.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 15 September 2006
Scientific Name
Fregata magnificens
  • Pelecaniformes
  • Fregatidae
  • Fregata
  • F. magnificens
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
39 inches
85 inches


International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Tesourão
Czech (Cesky) Fregatka Vznešená
Danish (Dansk) Pragtfregatfugl
Dutch (Nederlands) Amerikaanse Fregatvogel
Finnish (Suomi) Keisarifregattilintu
French (Français) Frégate Superbe
German (Deutsch) Prachtfregattvogel
Italian (Italiano) Fregata Magnifica
Japanese (日本語) アメリカグンカンドリ (Amerikagunkandori)
Norwegian (Norsk) Praktfregattfugl
Polish (Polski) Fregata Wielka
Russian (русский язык) Великолепный фрегат
Spanish (Español) Rabihorcado Magnífico
Swedish (Svenska) Praktfregattfågel
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The Magnificent Frigatebird sure lives up to its name; male birds have a magnificent red throat pouch which is inflated like a balloon in the breeding season. This is the only time ... more