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Frigatebirds: Fregatidae - Physical Characteristics

feathers birds wings white

Frigatebirds (FRIGG-it-birdz) are unusual seabirds. Their feathers are not waterproof, so they try to avoid getting them wet. They have mostly dark feathers, although many frigatebirds, especially the females and young ones, have white feathers on their breasts, and some young birds have white heads. The birds also have short legs, webbed feet, forked tails, and the males have an inflatable pouch on their throats.

Frigatebirds have extremely long, pointed wings. In fact, they have the largest wings in proportion to their weight of any other bird. They also have exceptionally strong breast muscles that work together with their wings to make them powerful, acrobatic fliers.

Female frigatebirds are somewhat larger than the males. The birds are between 30 and 44 inches (75 and 112 centimeters) long from their bills to the end of their tails, and their wingspan is between 69 and 91 inches (176 and 230 centimeters). They weigh up to 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms), and almost half of their body weight consists of breast muscles and feathers.

Frigatebirds: Fregatidae - Behavior And Reproduction [next]

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