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Magnificent Frigatebird (1 Viewer)

Hailer, Schreiber, Miller, Levin, Parker, Chesser & Fleischer 2010. Long-term isolation of a highly mobile seabird on the Galapagos. Proc R Soc B: in press:
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/09/22/rspb.2010.1342.abstract
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing....9/22/rspb.2010.1342.DC1/RSPB20101342supp1.pdf

Richard

I expect there will be some who will want to put Galapagos Frigatebird on their lists as an armchair tick.. Never been, just jealous! Without reading the paper tself, it would be interesting to see if they have drawn any parallels with Ascension Frigatebird, which I've watched for many hors, both on its (then) only nesting site, Boatswainbird Island, and scavenging from breaking waves in Clarence Bay...;)
 
I expect there will be some who will want to put Galapagos Frigatebird on their lists as an armchair tick..
I haven't seen the paper either, but perhaps the degree of differentiation at least warrants the resurrection of ssp rothschildi for non-Galápagos populations...?
 
Cape Verde

López Suárez, Hazevoet & Palma 2013. Has the magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens in the Cape Verde Islands reached the end of the road? Zoologia Caboverdiana 3(2): 82–86. [pdf]
... A pan-Atlantic distribution would throw doubt on the validity of a separate 'subspecies' (lowei Bannerman, 1927) for birds from the Cape Verde Islands (cf. Bourne 1957, Hazevoet 1995). Bannerman (1927) named his alleged subspecies on account of the 'enormous bill' of a mere two specimens (a male from Boavista and a female collected off The Gambia). However, bill size (as well as other size measurements) of Cape Verde birds shows substantial overlap with those obtained from Caribbean and Galapagos birds (cf. Bourne 1957). Nevertheless, Hailer et al. (2011) demonstrated that magnificent frigatebirds from the Galapagos Islands are strongly differentiated from non-Galapagos birds (i.e. birds from the rest of the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic), both genetically and in body measurements. Their study did, however, not include samples from the Cape Verde Islands. Our anticipated genetic analysis, as well as measurement data from a larger number of individuals, may shed further light on the possible distinctiveness of Cape Verde frigatebirds. ...

PS. Hailer et al 2011. Proc R Soc B 278(1707): 817–825. [pdf]
 
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Western Atlantic

Nuss, Carlos, Moreno & Fagundes 2016. Population genetic structure of the Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens (Aves, Suliformes) breeding colonies in the western Atlantic Ocean. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149834. [article & pdf]
 
perhaps the degree of differentiation at least warrants the resurrection of ssp rothschildi for non-Galápagos populations...?

Got to smile as I read this, they often can't easily separate Greater from Lesser and or Christmas......not another Frigate to struggle with!

I'm certain that apart from the odd 'classic' usually male type birds, most visitors to Asia where three species can occur, regularly mess this ID up, me included.

Do they (Galapagos) turn up off South American Mainland ever...how would / do we know and what's to say other individuals don't wander in to the colony from elsewhere?

Can such a nomadic species be safely ticked by birders on range and just how 'different' are they?


Andy
 
Subspecies

...perhaps the degree of differentiation at least warrants the resurrection of ssp rothschildi for non-Galápagos populations...?
Catching up...

Whilst Orta 1992 (HBW 1) treated Fregata magnificens as monotypic, Orta et al 2014 (HBW Alive) now recognises rothschildi (and lowei), citing Hailer et al 2011.

(But still treated as monotypic by H&M4, IOC and eBird/Clements.)
 
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There is also a lot of structure visible in barcode data of F. minor (scroll down and download the "PDF tree (All members and a member of the nearest BIN)" ; the Galápagos population -- ridgwayi -- is clearly distinct here as well).
These birds may appear nomadic, they are more than likely very strongly philopatric when it comes to breeding -- otherwise we wouldn't see this type of structure.
(The same holds true for many other seabirds, btw.)
 

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