Fregata minor   (Gmelin,  1789) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 85-105 cm; Range mass 1 to 1.8 kg; Range wingspan 205 to 230 cm

Habits: Generally solitary, catch food in mid-air and by diving vertically into the water.

Large and heavy frigatebird. Adult male: Glossy black above, brown band on median wing-coverts and innermost secondaries, underparts black, gular pouch red. Adult female : Larger than male, with black head and neck, brown hind collar, light brown band on wings, white throat, foreneck, breast and sides, black cap, pink eye ring.

Breeding season- Breeding is seasonal in a region, but breeding is recorded from December through September throughout their range. nest-Nests are generally platforms built of twigs, sticks, and other collected materials on the same trees or bushes that were used by males for courtship displays.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Great Frigatebird (English)
• Lesser Frigate Bird (English)
• Greater Frigatebird (English)
• Nano chanchiyo (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Humans will capture adults, eggs, and young to eat.)
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Great frigatebirds commonly forage and nest with other species of seabirds. They will steal food from other seabirds as well, especially from boobies, tropicbirds, and petrels. Parasites reported include feather lice (Phthiraptera), including the species Colopocephalum angulaticeps, Fregatiella aurifasciata, and Pectinopygus gracilicornis, and hippoboscid flies )
Importance:  Commercial
(Great frigatebirds are important members of pelagic ocean ecosystems. Adults, nestlings, and eggs are collected for food in some areas. On islands in the Pacific young frigatebirds were sometimes raised as pets and used to convey messages from traveling islanders to their homes. Nesting colonies contribute to guano deposits.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no adverse effects of great frigatebirds on humans. They live on remote, offshore islands and over open ocean. They may take fish scraps from commercial fishing operations or steal small fish from nets or baited hooks. )

Habitat:  Pelagic, Open Sea, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fish and squids.
Predator:  humans (Homo sapiens) other frigatebirds (Fregata) owls (Strigiformes) rats (Rattus) domestic cats (Felis catus) bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis)
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Lakshadweep INDIA
• West coast INDIA
• East coast INDIA
• Goa, Anjuna INDIA (Record: 16/09/1990)
• Kerala, Kollam Coast INDIA
• Maharashtra, Mumbai (Lat: 18.98) (Long: 72.83) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Pande S, Sant NR, Ranade SD, PednekarSN, Mestry PG, Kharat S S and Deshmukh V (2007) An ornithological expedition to the Lakshadweep archipelago: Assessment of threats to pelagic and other birds and recommendations Indian Birds 3(1) 2-12pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2012-08-02

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