The Great Frigatebird is an enormous seabird with a wingspan of up to 230 cm, or 7.5 ft. Despite its considerable size, the heaviest Great Frigatebird recorded weighed only 1,550g, or 3.4 lbs. The Great Frigatebird is black and in flight has a very pointed and sabre-like shape. Males and females are sexually dimorphic, which means they can be distingished from one another through obvious visual characteristics. Males have a large red pouch under their bills that they can fill with air during mating season to display to a potential mate. Females are larger than males and where the males have an air sac, they have a white coloration.
The sabre-like shape of Great Frigatebirds fills a biological use: the birds only hunt for food in the air. They do this mainly by stealing food from other birds in midair, catching flying fish, and rarely, hunting other birds. Because of their tendency to steal food, their name in Hawaiian is Iwa, or “thief.”
Frigatebirds can be seen anywhere over the ocean and near the shore in Hong Kong. They are native to subtropical and tropical regions in South East Asia and the Pacific Ocean, extending to Western South and Central America. Their preferred nesting sites are in groups of trees on islands, particularly mangroves. They nest in large colonies.
Great Frigatebird Display on Youtube