Fregata minor (Gmelin, 1789)

Frigates are usually seen gliding along the seaward reefs waiting for boobies and terns to return with full bellies to their nesting chicks on the islands. The frigates will harass the returning birds until they regurgitate their food, which the frigate will then catch in mid air or pick up from the surface of the water. The one in the first few photos had a red ribbon tied to its leg, indicating it was probably a pet, captured as a chick and raised, probably by Marshallese citizens. This one would fly down and take offered food from one's hand.

Once a year, usually in winter, frigates would gather high in the trees on Mian Island, where they were probably nesting.

Created 25 January 2018

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