Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Least Concern
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency medium
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 32,700,000 km2
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 45,200,000 km2
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 130000 mature individuals medium estimated 2016
Population trend decreasing - suspected -
Generation length 13.9 years - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated to number 130,000 mature individuals (Partners in Flight 2019).

Trend justification: The species is undergoing a moderate decline (Partners in Flight 2019).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Anguilla (to UK) extant native yes
Antigua and Barbuda extant native yes
Argentina extant vagrant yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Bahamas extant native yes
Barbados extant native yes
Belize extant native yes
Bermuda (to UK) extant native yes
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Brazil extant native yes
Canada extant uncertain yes
Cape Verde extant native yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Chile extant vagrant
Colombia extant native yes
Costa Rica extant native yes
Cuba extant native yes
Curaçao (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Denmark extant vagrant yes
Dominica extant native yes
Dominican Republic extant native yes
Ecuador extant native yes
El Salvador extant native yes
France extant vagrant yes
French Guiana extant native yes
Gambia extant vagrant yes
Grenada extant native yes
Guadeloupe (to France) extant native yes
Guatemala extant native yes
Guyana extant native yes
Haiti extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes
Jamaica extant native yes
Martinique (to France) extant native yes
Mauritania extant vagrant yes
Mexico extant native yes
Montserrat (to UK) extant native yes
Nicaragua extant native yes
Panama extant native yes
Peru extant native yes
Portugal extant vagrant yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) extant native yes
Senegal extant uncertain
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) extant native yes
Spain extant vagrant yes
St Barthelemy (to France) extant native
St Kitts and Nevis extant native yes
St Lucia extant native yes
St Martin (to France) extant native yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines extant native yes
Suriname extant native yes
Trinidad and Tobago extant native yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) extant native yes
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) extant native yes
Uruguay extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to UK) extant native yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) extant native yes
Western Sahara extant uncertain

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Jamaica Portland Ridge and Bight
Ecuador Isla Santa Clara
Ecuador Isla de la Plata
Virgin Islands (to UK) Great Tobago
Bahamas North Atlantic Abaco Cays
Bahamas Cay Verde
Nicaragua Booby Cay Island
Martinique (to France) Pointe Pain de Sucre
Bahamas Guana Cays
Dominican Republic Cotubanamá
Antigua and Barbuda Codrington Lagoon and the Creek
Antigua and Barbuda Redonda
Cayman Islands (to UK) Booby Pond Nature Reserve
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila
Puerto Rico (to USA) Mona and Monito
Dominica L'llet
Jamaica Pedro Cays and Bank
Jamaica Black River Great Morass
St Vincent and the Grenadines Battowia Island
Trinidad and Tobago St Giles Islands
Brazil Ilhas dos Currais
Brazil Arquipélago dos Alcatrazes
St Vincent and the Grenadines All Awash Island
St Vincent and the Grenadines Petit Canouan
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Gorgona
French Guiana Connétable
Mexico Isla Isabel
Anguilla (to UK) Dog Island
Ecuador Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla Corazón e Isla Fragata
Mexico Los Tuxtlas
Mexico Isla Contoy
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp major resident
Marine Neritic Pelagic major resident
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy major resident
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud major resident
Marine Oceanic Epipelagic (0-200m) major resident
Marine Oceanic Mesopelagic (200-1000m) major resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Reduced reproductive success
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Fregata magnificens. Downloaded from on 03/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 03/03/2024.