male; black body; long wings; forked tail (Galapagos, Ecuador; 2005-06-02)

Magnificent Frigatebird
Fregata magnificens

Native Range: Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Notes: a bird that lives up to its name by being one of nature's most awesome flying machines; kleptoparasitic, meaning that it steals food from other seabirds; often soars seemingly effortlessly for hours on end, much like a graceful glider airplane and coveing vast distances; builds stick nests in colonies; male has an inflatable bright red gular pouch that he uses in courtship displays to impress females.

male on nest, with deflated gular pouch (Galapagos, Ecuador; 2005-06-02)

male in flight showing inflated pouch (Florida, USA; 2007-12-26)

female; white breast but otherwise black all over (Panama; 2008-05-24)

couple; male with fully inflated pouch (Galapagos, Ecuador; 2005-06-02)

juvenile; white head as well as breast (Galapagos, Ecuador; 2005-06-02)

juvenile in flight; note the glider-plane look (Florida, USA; 2007-12-23)

juvenile posing for a portrait (Galapagos, Ecuador; 2005-06-02)

female in flight (Dominican Republic; 2006-12-13)

female flying (Dominican Republic; 2006-12-13)

female still flying (Dominican Republic; 2006-12-13)

another view of female in flight (Dominican Republic; 2006-12-13)