Frigate birds are the seabirds which belong to a Fregatidae family under genus Fregata. Fregata itself holds five species. Frigate birds are also known with the names Pirate birds, Man of War birds and frigate pelican.
The bird has long bills, wings and tails. Its feathers are black colored. However, the females have white underparts. It has long tails and long wings reaching up to 2.3 metres. Frigate bird is not able to swim, nor can they walk well. They can't even take off from a flat ground. They have the largest wingspan than the other birds, which makes them stay in air for more than a week. They lands only for rest or breeding on trees or on a steep rock face.
The male frigate bird has a red throat pouch which it enlarges during the breeding season to attract a female bird. Frigate Bird nests colonially. They create their nests on low trees or on surface on distant Island. In every breeding season, the bird lays one or two eggs. However the time span of parental cares in larger in Frigate Bird than any other birds. For the first three months, the parental birds take turns to feed their young. But after that only the mother takes responsibility to feed the young for eight months.
Frigate birds roam around an open sea rather than on waters adjacent to land or inland water. They ride warm updrafts. Therefore their riding can be spotted as a signal of weather changing. They live mainly on squid, fish, jellyfish, baby turtles and similar things.
Frigate birds obtain most of its food on wing. They also rob the other seabirds or grab the seabird chicks. Frigate birds are not able to snatch their food from the sea. So they grab it from the ocean surface or beach with the help of their hooked bills. Frigate birds also rob the other seabirds for their food, where its flying speed helps it. Although it snatches the food from other birds, it just becomes a supplement to its food hunting.
All the four toes of frigate bird are connected by the web, a gular sac, and a furcula. Although there is webbing, it is reduced so that each part of the toe is free. Frigate birds are not able to land on ocean as it could not able to produce large amount of oil like other seabirds.
There are five species in the genus Fregata, which are given below: