Skip to main content
Select Source:

man-o'-war bird

man-o'-war bird or frigate-bird, most aerial of the water birds, found in the tropic seas. The man-o'-war bird's wingspread (71/2 ft/228.5 cm) is the largest in proportion to its body (3–4 lb/1.4–1.8 kg) of any bird. It can soar motionless by the hour and has been recorded in flights lasting nearly four days, spending most of that time several hundred feet or more in the air. It is awkward on land and in the sea, where the feathers quickly become water-logged.

The name derives from its grace and swiftness in the air and from its piratical tendencies; it harasses boobies, pelicans, cormorants, and gulls until they drop their catch. Man-o'-war birds feed chiefly on fish but also prey on the young of sea birds and on jellyfish, squid, and young turtles. They have long hooked beaks and forked tails; the male has an inflatable orange throat pouch that becomes red at courtship time.

The purplish black magnificent frigate-bird, Fregata magnificens, 40 in. (100 cm) long, is found from the Bahamas and Baja California S to Brazil and Ecuador; the great frigate-bird, F. minor, is found in the Indian Ocean. Other species, e.g., the Ascension and Christmas Island frigate-birds, are named for their habitats. The lesser frigate-bird, the smallest (32 in./80 cm) of the family, is found in the South Pacific and on the islands off Brazil and Madagascar.

Frigate-birds are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Pelecaniformes, family Fregatidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"man-o'-war bird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"man-o'-war bird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/man-o-war-bird

"man-o'-war bird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/man-o-war-bird

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

frigate bird

frig·ate bird • n. a predatory tropical seabird (genus Fregata, family Fregatidae) with dark plumage, long narrow wings, a deeply forked tail, and a long hooked bill.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"frigate bird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"frigate bird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/frigate-bird

"frigate bird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/frigate-bird

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.