Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), Green Valley, Pima County
This Magnificent Frigatebird was
found by Nancy Bent and Roger Reason on 18 May 2020 and
photographed by Nancy Bent on the same date.
Frigatebirds are casual in Arizona, with less than five accepted records of Magnificent Frigatebird in recent years, and a handful of accepted records of "frigatebird sp.", in the past 20 years. Reports of frigatebirds declined sharply after the 1970s, when they were annual in the state.
While frigatebirds as a group are distinctive, ID
among species is more challenging. While Magnificent is
the most likely species in Arizona and the only one
recorded thus far, both Lesser and Great frigatebirds
are also possible (there are published reports of Great
for the state) especially outside the peak late summer
window responsible for the majority of Magnificent
Frigatebird records in the west. Those outside this
window, such as this one, should be carefully checked
for other species. On this individual, which
appears to be a juvienile, the white belly patch appears
to be diamond shaped, lacking any spurs identifiying it
as a Magnificent.
18 May 2020, photo by Nancy BentAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 22 May 2020