Ascension Frigatebirds

Frigatebirds

The Ascension Frigatebird (Fregata aquila) breeds only on the tiny Boatswainbird Island near Ascension Island in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It formerly bred on the larger island, but was exterminated by introduced cats, Brown Rats, and human persecution.

They nest on the rocky slopes of Boatswainbird. There may be of the order of 10,000 birds.

A frigatebird found moribund in 1953 in Tiree, Scotland was identified at the time as Magnificent Frigatebird but was re-examined in 2002 and it was determined to be an Ascension Frigatebird.


Description

The Ascension Frigatebird resembles the Lesser Frigatebird. but it has a white axillary spur, and juveniles have a white head, and a distinctly white hind neck with no reddish-brown hue. This species has a brown breast band.


Diet / Feeding

They feed on fish and similar surface prey, including small turtles.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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