Lesser Frigatebird

The lesser Frigatebird is like a smaller version of the Great Frigatebird, but both males and females have white markings extending onto the undersides of each wing.

Lesser Frigatebird © Harald Legge

Like Great Frigates, juveniles have a white or pale buff head.  They are often seen alongside the larger species, although many more Great than Lesser Frigates occur around the granite islands of Seychelles.  In Seychelles, Lesser Frigate only nest around Aldabra Atoll, where they may build their nests alongside Great Frigates.  However, Lesser Frigates use a wider range of trees and shrubs for nesting than do Great Frigates, and choose slightly different nest locations within each tree.

The Lesser Frigate is capable of long flights, one bird ringed from Aldabra flew as far as Bombay in India, a distance of 4,400 km.


Scientific name: Fregata ariel
Creole name: Pti Fregat
Wingspan: 175 – 195 cm
Population in the Seychelles: In Seychelles, only breeds on Aldabra, where at least 6,000 breeding pairs occur
World distribution: Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans
Distribution in Seychelles: Occurs throughout Seychelles
Nest: In shrubs and trees. One egg laid
Diet: Squid, flying fish, fish stolen from other seabirds, baby turtles
Identification: A large seabird with narrow white markings on the underwing

See more

Species Fact Sheet at BirdLife Data Zone

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