1524. Fregata aquila.
The Frigate-bird or Man-of-tuar Bird.
Pelecanus aquilus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 216 (1766). Attagen aquilus, Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 853. Fregata aquila, Hume, Cat.no. 1000; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1204; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 227.
Coloration. Male black throughout, richly glossed with metallic purple and green on the head, neck, back, and scapulars, less richly on the wings and tail.
Females have the whole breast white, this colour extending back laterally on to the flanks, the back brownish black, and all the smaller wing-coverts and the inner median coverts with pale brown or whitish edges.
Young birds have the head, neck, breast, and middle of abdomen white, the head and neck often tinged with ferruginous, and the lower breast sometimes blackish brown ; wing-coverts as in the adult female. In worn plumage the back and quills are brown.
Bill bluish grey; irides red (sometimes black) ; gular skin, legs, and feet red.
Length about 40; tail 15-19; wing 22-25; bill from gape 4.5-5.25.
Distribution. All tropical seas and oceans. This bird has been occasionally obtained on the coast of India. Jerdon mentions receiving a specimen that bad been shot near Mahgalore, and there is a skin from Ceylon in the British Museum.