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.