If you have ever done the slightest research about traveling to Costa Rica you probably know already that its best attraction is its rich wildlife. Monkeys, crocodiles, sea turtles, and sloths are some of the most popular animals to see in Costa Rica. But there are many others that are just as amazing. Costa Rica is an amazing wildlife destination.
One of those amazing species is the frigate bird. They belong to the family of seabirds and are also called frigate pelicans. If you are interested in seeing one of these, they can be found breeding along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and in the Corcovado National Park, one of the best places for wildlife watching and birding in Costa Rica.
Below you will find more information about these colorful guys.
10 Magnificent Frigate Bird Facts
1. They have long wings, tails, and bills, and the males have a red pouch that is inflated during the breeding season to attract a mate. Females are black but have a white breast and lower neck sides, a brown band on the wings, and a blue eye-ring.
2. The Magnificent Frigate bird is a big bird. Much longer than you would expect. One adult can be 1m long and have a 2.15m wingspan.
3. Because of their size. They lack the ability to take off from water, so they snatch prey from the ocean surface or beach. To do this, they use their long, hooked bills.
4. When it comes to their lifespan, they can get quite old compared to other birds. There have been registered cases of up to 30-year-old frigate birds.
5. When it comes to mating, Frigate birds are seasonally monogamous. This means that males only look for and mate with one female per season. After that, they also nest as a colony.
6. Each mating season, each female lays one or two white eggs. Once they hatch, both parents take turns feeding for the first three months. After that, only the mother feeds the young for another eight months while they get ready to be independent.
7. One of the many reasons why the magnificent frigate bird is endangered is that it takes a really long time to rear a chick. This means that frigate birds cannot breed every year. It is typical to see young as big as their parents waiting to be fed.
8. They put on a spectacular courtship display. Males sit in groups with their throat sacs inflated, clattering their bills, waving their heads, and quivering their wings. This is done to attract females flying overhead.
9. It is not an endangered species like sea turtles, but populations appear to be declining, mainly due to human destruction of habitat for housing and resorts and disturbance in colonies. Introducing predators on islands and over-fishing are also potential problems.
10. They are also super strong. They can spend days and nights in the air, with an average ground speed of 10 km/hour. This allows them to cover 223 km before landing.
What do you think about this bird? It is a true delight to see them flying or searching for food in the wild.
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