Hagfish Day Star: Giant Frigatebird

Great frigatebird (Frigata minor)

The beauty and grace of the frigatebird shines when it’s in the air. It soars. It glides. Once in the while it even flaps those giant wings. Frigatebirds can glide or soar for days. It floats in the air effortlessly and reaches speeds of 32 mph. Frigatebirds have a giant wingspan ranging in size from 6.7 to 7.5 ft. wide! This seabird is as comfortable in the air as you binge watching your favorite shows in a comfy chair.

These seabirds rarely land touch the ground unless they are nesting.

Not appearing on any runway soon. This elegant high flying acrobat loses all its cool points on land. The huge body, giant wings, long tail, and short legs help it fly. But not walk. Frigatebirds cannot walk on their two legs like other two-legged animals like you or a chicken. It hops from one leg to the other.

These oceanic birds are not water lovers. They do not swim, dive (in the water), or float on the surface. Their feathers and body are not designed for water.

Frigatebirds snatch fish, sea turtle hatchlings, and other treats from the surface of the water. Flying fish are a favorite food. Frigatebirds are also notorious for stealing food from other seabirds. Kind of a bully of the sky, a frigatebird chases, pesters, even pulls the tail of other seabirds. To stop the harassment, the other bird spits up (yes that means vomits) its freshly swallowed fish. Then the frigate bird grabs and eats it. Sometimes other frigate birds harass that frigate bird, who spits up the fish. Poor fish is eaten and barfed multiple times until a winner gets to keep it down. Frigate birds also hover over seabird nesting colonies. They stalk incoming parents returning with food for their chicks.


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