frigate bird


frigate bird
any predacious seabirds of the genus Fregata, having fully webbed feet. Also, frigatebird. Also called man-o'-war bird.
[1730-40]

* * *

or man-o'-war bird

Any member of five species of large seabirds constituting the family Fregatidae, found worldwide along tropical and semitropical coasts and islands.

About the size of a hen, frigate birds have extremely long, slender wings, which span up to about 8 ft (2.3 m), and long, deeply forked tails. Most adult males are all black; most females are marked with white below. Both sexes have a bare-skinned throat pouch, tiny feet, and a long hooked bill that is used to attack and rob other seabirds of their fish. The courting male's throat pouch becomes bright red and is inflated to the size of a person's head. Perhaps the most aerial of all birds except the swifts, frigate birds land only to sleep or tend the nest.

Great frigate bird (Fregata minor)

Jen and Des Bartlett
Bruce Coleman Inc./EB Inc.

* * *

bird
also called  man-o'-war bird 

      any member of five species of large seabirds constituting the family Fregatidae (order Pelecaniformes). Frigate birds are about the size of a hen and have extremely long, slender wings, the span of which may reach to about 2.3 m (nearly 8 feet), and a long, deeply forked tail. In general, adult males are all black, and adult females are marked with white below. The birds have a bare-skinned throat pouch, which in courting males becomes bright red and is inflated, for display purposes, to the size of a person's head. Other distinguishing characteristics are the almost helpless tiny feet with four webbed toes, and a long hooked bill that is used in attacking and robbing other seabirds of their fish.

      The frigate bird is perhaps the most aerial of all birds except the swift and alights only to sleep or to tend its nest. The adult, with insufficient preening oil to waterproof its plumage, never willingly alights on the water, but it is unbelievably fast and skillful in the air, soaring effortlessly and often diving to recover falling fish dropped aloft by panic-stricken boobies or other seabirds. It also courses low over the water to seize fish.

      Found throughout the world along tropical and semitropical coasts and islands, the frigate bird usually keeps within 100 miles (160 km) of land, to which it must return to roost. It breeds in crowded colonies on islands. Both parents incubate the single white egg.

 The largest species (to about 115 cm [45 inches]) is the magnificent frigate bird, Fregata magnificens, found on both coasts of America, the Caribbean Sea, and Cape Verde. The great and lesser frigate birds, F. minor (see photograph—>) and F. ariel, breed on islands worldwide.
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Frigate bird — Frigate Frig ate, n. [F. fr[ e]gate, It. fregata, prob. contracted fr. L. fabricata something constructed or built. See {Fabricate}.] 1. Originally, a vessel of the Mediterranean propelled by sails and by oars. The French, about 1650, transferred …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • frigate bird — n. any of a family (Fregatidae) of large, tropical pelecaniform birds with extremely long wings and tail and a hooked beak: it commonly robs other birds of their prey …   English World dictionary

  • frigate bird — noun long billed warm water seabird with wide wingspan and forked tail • Syn: ↑man of war bird • Hypernyms: ↑pelecaniform seabird • Member Holonyms: ↑Fregata, ↑genus Fregata * * * ˈfrigate bird 7 [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Frigate Bird — Kernwaffentest Frigate Bird Explosionswolke aufgenommen durch das Periskop des U Boots USS Carbonero (SS 337) aus 25 Meilen (40 km) Entfernung Informationen Nation Vereinigte Staaten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • frigate bird — frig′ate bird or frig′ate•bird n. orn any of several long winged, fork tailed seabirds of the family Fregatidae, of tropical oceans, noted for snatching prey from other birds in flight • Etymology: 1730–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • frigate bird — noun Date: 1738 any of a family (Fregatidae, containing a single genus Fregata) of tropical seabirds having a forked tail and large wingspans that are noted for aggressively taking food from other birds …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • frigate bird — noun a predatory tropical seabird with dark plumage, long narrow wings, a deeply forked tail, and a long hooked bill. [Genus Fregata: five species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • frigate bird —    Iwa (see sayings, iwa1) …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • USS Frigate Bird (AMS-191) — was a Bluebird class motor minesweeper acquired by the U.S. Navy for clearing coastal minefields. The second ship in the Navy to be named Frigate Bird , AMS 191 was launched 24 October 1953 by Quincy Adams Yacht Yard, Inc., Quincy, Massachusetts; …   Wikipedia

  • USS Frigate Bird (AMc-27) — was a Frigate Bird class coastal minesweeper acquired by the U.S. Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing. World War II service The first ship to be named Frigate Bird by the… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.