Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 151 - Christmas Island Frigatebird

Despite a rather hectic schedule in Jakarta, I did manage to get about 3/4 of a days birding in.  As has become my habit when I travel for work I tacked on a days leave to the start of the trip, so at least I can have one day to have a loom around.

Luckily I was able to make contact with a local birder who acted as my guide, interpreter and identification coach - the local currency does not have a high value on the world markets, but paying over 3 million anythings was a bit of a shock!  (That is until I did the back 'translation' into Australian $ and it all made a bit more sense!)

Part of the day involved a very early start to take a boat out to some fish traps in the Bay of Jakarta, to the north of the city.  These fish traps are basically just large curtains that trap fish on the fall and rise of the tides.  It's no surprise that these places attract birds!

And the birds we were hoping to see were there in abundance - Frigatebirds of three species.  As I have mentioned before the light was shocking, the birds flighty and the boat less than stable - under these circumstances I am rather surprised I managed to get any images at all.

As far as I am aware these birds are all Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi). These birds are about 100cm from beak to forked tail tip and have a wingspan of over 200cm.  In other words they are big.  There was constant squabbling going on between the birds and it was a real thrill to be sitting in amongst the best part of 200 of these birds.

(Brief up date to one of the images - its a Juvenile  Lesser Frigatebird)

Frigatebirds on the fish traps

Juvenile  Lesser Frigatebird 









The birds with the red pouch under the beak are males, the others are females and juveniles.  It may not be very scientific - but when they sit with their beaks out to one side they remind me of the vultures from Bugs Bunny!

Now it's over to you - click the blue button and off you go.  I have not caught up from last week yet, and I am back on the road in a few days - so, good things will come to those that wait!  SM

48 comments:

  1. very cool birds! and a lot of them!

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  2. Such an awesome looking bird Stewart. It looks really huge. Very jealous you were able to see them.

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  3. Great birds and great captures as always, Stewart!! Hope your week is going well!

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  4. Hello Stewart, cool post on the Frigatebirds. They are awesome to watch in flight. I have seen them around the Caribbean and in Panama. Thanks for hosting and have a great week!

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  5. Oh wow, Stewart! We only see Frigate birds if we're VERY lucky and see them flying over houses along the South African coast. I've never seen one and this post's images are stunning. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day. Jo

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  6. Cool looking critters. Gave me grins.

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  7. The poles made for some great shots. Frigates have such an interesting profile.

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  8. Unusual looking beaks on those birds! Enjoyed all your photos.

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  9. What wingspan! They look so cool in flight. Great shots, Stewart.

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  10. Another new one for me! Great shots, too, Stewart, and how neat to be able to sit and watch them on those poles.

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  11. Definitely one I'm unlikely to ever see so thanks for sharing your interesting encounter Stewart.

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  12. I'd love to see and photograph those awesome birds.

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  13. Amazing to see so many and to be right in the middle of them.. Great that you are able to tack on a fun day when you have such an exotic business trip destination! No birds this week... Next time I hope.

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  14. Fabulous shots Stewart. It is great that you were able to "tack on" some extra days in Jakarta for birding and looking about.

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  15. I know the circumstances were less than ideal, but still sounds like an amazing opportunity and I think the shots came out quite well.

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  16. Absolutely fantastic! Awesome looking birds! I love those beaks! And they do look like the Bugs Bunny vultures! LOL!

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  17. Amazing perching on the poles.

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  18. Splendid captures of these giants. Blessings, Janice A.

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  19. Hi Stewart,
    The Frigatebird photos are very beautiful.
    Thanks for all the bird-in-flight photos and the story.
    1 MM Rupiah = $75 US.
    But, looks like the enjoyment you got is worth more than a 100 bucks!
    Thanks for hosting.
    Have a Wonderful Day!
    Peace :)

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  20. Interesting looking birds, great shots!

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  21. Nice views of the various plumages. They must really compete for one of those roosts.

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  22. What a sight. It must have been noisy. I too thought they looked somewhat like vultures in some of the shots.

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  23. Hi Stewart,

    You despite many crowds you still been able to make beautiful pictures of birds. This Frigatebirds I have never seen them but they are a bit like our Cormorants. Beautiful series and I'm going to read a few links in your blog.

    Greetings, Helma

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  24. I NEVER saw one of these guys...EVER...so you pix are much appreciated. And you're right. They are perfect doubles for those on Bugs Bunny!!! Do you remember that really "dumb" one??...:)JP

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  25. Haha, I never saw a juvenile fregatebird :D The males are beautiful, I like them very much. But the juveniles... they look so awkward to me :) Really, like from some cartoon :)

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  26. I saw frigatebirds in Mexico and my enduring memories are of huge squabbling birds like something out of pre-history. Of course they were also piratical and spent lots of time chasing Laughing Gulls and trying to nab a meal from someone else. Looks like they have a good supply of fish just there at those nets.

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  27. What an exciting bird. Both sweet and very different. Thank you for showing us your beautiful photos.

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  28. How wonderful that you're able to combine birding with your travel {work} schedule, Stewart! These frigatebirds are quite interesting. I especially like the shot with their wings extended - well done as you dipped to a fro on the sea!

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  29. I only know a little about the magnificent frigatebird which spends post breeding season along the Gulf coast. And I don't remember ever seeing them sitting around. Plus I didn't know there were multiple species of frigatebirds. Thanks for the interesting post.

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  30. Those birds are amazing. The first picture is remarkable and tells the story.
    I do see the cartoon resemblance.
    MB

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  31. What a neat bird..I have never seen them..Super pictures Stewart...I wouldn't want to tangle with that bill...

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  32. These are fabulouss birds and shots and I would love to see them someday.

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  33. How exciting, Stewart! I love all your wonderful images. We had the ones with the red throats on Midway Island when I lived there as a child. I do remember them.

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  34. Oh what fun ... and I do understand your consternation about the money exchange ... my son often states prices in bot before he tells us how cheap it is in dollars ... he is a bit of a tease. As for these wonderful, comical birds, how lucky you are to spend time with them. And, though my mind is way past thinking in specifics, I too had the thought that they would make perfect cartoon characters. Great minds, as they say :) Fun shots and how smart you are to tack some "you time" onto your work adventures :) Stay safe, Stuwart ...

    Andrea @ Fromn The Sol

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  35. Christmas Island, I had to loo it up...... didn't have a clue as to its whereabouts. Glad you got a guide and hope you got some good life species too

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  36. They made me think of cartoons, too!

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  37. I am totally fascinated by Frigate Birds. I've only seen them a handful of times while in Mexico and they are wonderful to photograph.

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  38. They do look like a vulture. :) great shots!

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  39. Impressive wing span. Thanks for sharing.

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  40. The shots with their wings outstretched really give an idea of the size of these birds. I can't imagine 200 of them in one place. Yes, I believe I have seen the one you refer to on Bugs Bunny!

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  41. Not the prettiest bird but your photos are excellent!

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  42. Quite a fascinating entry as I may have heard of these birds, but I would have never guessed their appearance. I think they are quite wonderful and yes, they do look a bit like cartoon Vultures, but a week bit lovelier ;)

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  43. Ahhm paying 3 million of anything would give me a bit of a shock as well I'm afraid! But I am a trillionaire, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad... I ordered a one hundred trillion dollar bill, a fifty trillion, and a ten trillion from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from Amazon a while back...and keep them handy for in case I ever feel broke. (Well, maybe also a reminder of how worthless paper money can become).

    Great shots of the frigatebirds! They look so neat!

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  44. Them birds is HUGE! I have never seen them perch. I've suspected that they do so, but have never seen them do it:) Having one swoop by your head is an eye opener. Their wing span is so large. Wonderful photos. Love the sticks out of the water. It's got a lost world feel.....der be pirates!

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