1525. Fregata ariel.
The Smaller Frigate-bird.
Attagen ariel, Gould, Gray, Gen. B. iii, p. 669 (1845) (descr. nulla) ; Gould, Birds Australia, vii, pi. 72 (1848); Bayard, A. M. N. H. (2) xiv, p. 271. Attagen minor, apud Holdsworth, P. Z. S. 1872, p. 482; nec Pelecanus minor, Gm. Fregata minor, apud Hume, S. F. vii, p. 447 ; id. Cat. no. 1000 bis; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1203; Hume, S. F. ix, p. 119; Oates, Ii. B. ii, p. 228.
Coloration similar to that of F. aquila, except that the adult male has a large white patch on each flank, and the female a white or whitish collar round the base of the neck. This species is, however, much smaller, with a shorter and more slender bill. Young birds have the breast blackish brown, and only the head, neck, and abdomen white.
Bill grey; irides red; gular skin red ; eyelids, legs, and feet black in males; red in females. In the young the irides are black; bill and feet blackish white ('Challenger' Reports).
Tail about 13; wing 20 ; bill from gape 3.5-4.
Distribution. Tropical parts of the Indian and Pacific Oceans as far east as the Society Islands. This Frigate-bird appears not to be rare on the coast of Ceylon, where several examples have been obtained.