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Frigatebirds: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds And People

People have used to use frigatebirds to carry messages between islands in the South Pacific. Now the birds are mainly a tourist attraction.


Frigatebirds usually catch their own meals, but they are famous for the way they steal food from other birds. In fact, they were named after the fast frigate ships used by pirates who robbed other ships at sea. When a frigatebird notices that another seabird has caught a fish, it often dives at the seabird like a fighter jet and jabs it until it drops the fish. If the seabird has already swallowed its meal, the frigatebird may grab it by the neck, tail, or wing and dangle it until it coughs up its load. Instantly, the frigatebird swoops down and snatches its free lunch.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsFrigatebirds: Fregatidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Frigatebirds And People, Conservation Status, Magnificent Frigatebird (fregata Magnificens): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET