frigatebird

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English[edit]

Magnificent frigatebirds
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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

frigate +‎ bird

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈfrɪ.ɡət,bɜrd/

Noun[edit]

frigatebird (plural frigatebirds)

  1. Any of five species of bird in the genus Fregata, the only genus in the family Fregatidae.
    • 1987, J. P. Croxall, Seabirds: Feeding Ecology and Role in Marine Ecosystems, page 58,
      Unlike most seabirds, frigatebirds are not able to alight on the water.
    • 2011, Penny Olsen, Leo Joseph, Stray Feathers: Reflections on the Structure, Behaviour and Evolution of Birds, page 176,
      The oceanic frigatebirds are represented in Australia by three species: the Great and Lesser Frigatebirds and endemic Christmas Island Frigatebird (pictured).
    • 2011, David Horwell, Pete Oxford, Galápagos Wildlife, 3rd Edition, page 64,
      Often called man o' war birds, they are notorious as piratical cleptomaniacs that steal food from other birds at every opportunity. This reputation is justified, but frigatebirds are also capable of an 'honest' living.
      It would seem that a frigatebird can discriminate between a bird with a full gullet and one which is empty. An unlucky booby or tropicbird may be plucked out of the air, dangled by the tail-tip and shaken until it regurgitates its food, which the frigatebird then makes off with.

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