Many Galapagos animals pull out all the stops during mating season – and the male Great Frigatebird is no exception. He certainly knows how to catch a female eye. During breeding season, he is able to distend (or inflate) his red throat sac. It is so large and bright that is would be impossible to miss.
When trying to attract a female, groups of males will sit in bushes and trees while inflating their red sac into a noteworthy red balloon.
Despite its name, it is actually the second largest frigatebird after the Magnificent Frigatebird. The Great Frigatebird can measure up to 105 centimeters (41 in) in length with a wingspan of more than 2 meters (80 -90 in). The female is larger and less impressive looking than the male, sporting a white throat and breast.
When we were in the Galapagos these unusual birds caught our eye – although we haven’t seen them with an inflated throat sac yet.
Great Frigatebirds with an Inflated Throat Sac