A magnificent frigatebird in flight

Magnificent frigatebird

Magnificent frigatebirds are almost silent seabirds found off the American and tropical coasts. These large birds make gliding and soaring look effortless as they use thermals to gain heights of up to 2,500 metres. The males gather during the breeding season and inflate red throat pouches like balloons to attract a mate. Magnificent frigatebirds were known as man-o'-war birds for their habit of catching and shaking other birds, then stealing the food the captive birds were forced to disgorge.

Scientific name: Fregata magnificens

Rank: Species

Common names:

Man o'war bird

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Map showing the distribution of the Magnificent frigatebird taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Magnificent frigatebird can be found in a number of locations including: Galápagos, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Magnificent frigatebird distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Pelicans, cormorants and gannets
  6. Fregatidae
  7. Fregata
  8. Magnificent frigatebird

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