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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Fregata minor
POPULATION: About 10,000 in Hawai’i; global population unknown
HABITAT: Breeds on small, remote tropical islands
The Great Frigatebird has a distinctive flight silhouette, with long, pointed wings and a deeply forked tail. Like the Swallow-tailed Kite, its wings allow for graceful aerial acrobatics and effortless soaring. Frigatebirds often use their aerial agility to harass other birds into dropping their prey, earning this pirate of tropical skies the nickname of “Man-o’-War Bird.”
Like California Condor and other raptors, Great Frigatebirds use thermals to soar and glide for hours. Frigatebirds may even sleep on the wing!