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Magnificent Frigatebird

MARC number#LocationCountyArrival dateDeparture dateObserversReport
2002-27Harwich (Sept. 1), Chatham Light area (Sept. 2-3), Hyannis (Sept. 4)Barnstable9/1/029/4/02T. + M. Gooley, B. Nikula7
2005-211South Beach Island, ChathamBarnstable7/22/057/22/05G. Hirth, R. Merrill (ph)10
2006-311Tuckernuck IslandNantucket10/9/0610/9/06Veit, Perkins (ph), Sutherland (ph)12
2017-0151Stellwagon BankBarnstable6/10/176/10/17Joanne Jarzobski* (ph)21
2017-0161Salisbury BeachEssex6/13/176/13/17Andrea Bean* (ph)21

Digibin (!!) Magnificent Frigatebird, South Beach, Chatham. 22 July 2005.
Photo by R. Merrill.

This large, elegant and graceful ocean wanderer has been recorded up to 6 times in Massachusetts. Confusion with other frigatebird species is a serious identification challenge, and given the genus’ propensity for great wandering, careful documentation is required to determine the exact species observed. Further adding fuel to the fire is the documented record of a Lesser Frigatebird from Maine.