Family Frigatebirds (Fregatidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel)


Taxonomy

French: Frégate ariel German: Arielfregattvogel Spanish: Rabihorcado chico
Taxonomy:

Atagen ariel

G. R. Gray

, 1845,

Raine Island, Queensland, Australia

.

Genetic data indicate that this species is basal to all others in genus#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. a. iredalei Mathews, 1914 – W Indian Ocean.
  • F. a. ariel (G. R. Gray, 1845) – C & E Indian Ocean, SE Asian seas, N Australia to W & C Pacific Ocean.
  • F. a. trinitatis Miranda-Ribeiro, 1919 – S Atlantic (Trindade I and Martim Vaz Is, off E Brazil).
  • Descriptive notes

    66–81 cm; male 625–875 g, female 760–955 g; wingspan 155–193 cm. Much the smallest species. Smallest frigatebird. Breeding male is brownish black with... read more

    Voice

    Usually silent away from colonies. Calls at nest include several rather gull-like grating and... read more

    Habitat

    Tropical and subtropical seas, breeding on small, remote islands, in mangroves or bushes/scrub (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fish, especially flying fish (Cypselurus, Exocoetus, Evolantia) of 10–20 cm, and squid (... read more

    Breeding

    Throughout much of year at different localities; some preference for egg-laying in dry season. Probably biennial, when successful. Colonial... read more

    Movements

    Sedentary, with dispersal of immatures and non-breeders throughout tropical seas, especially across... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). World population probably several hundred thousand birds; main threats are probably habitat destruction, disturbance and direct... read more

    Recommended citation

    Orta, J., Garcia, E.F.J., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2018). Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52671 on 21 October 2018).