Re: birding-aus Frigate Birds.

To: Mike Hines <>, Birding-aus <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Frigate Birds.
From: David James <>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 08:45:52 +1000

At 21:27 14/02/99 +1100, Mike Hines wrote:
>    February 8,... some fifty Figate Birds over Point Lookout, the greatest
>number he had ever seen....
>It is understood that our common Frigate Bird is the Lesser (Frigata

In Queensland both Lesser & Great Frigatebirds occur along the coast and
through the GBR (Great Barrier Reef). It is often assumed that Lesser is
much more common than Great, but a lot of this is based on the circular
argument that Lesser is more common, therefore all sightings are of
Lessers, therefore Lessers are more common....  I know 3 books that contain
photos of Greats from Lady Eliott Island that have mis-labelled them
"Lesser".  HANZAB lists about 7,000 pairs of Lessers breeding in the GBR
and Coral Sea and about 1,200 Greats in the Coral Sea. The figures for
Great appear to be significant underestimates. I guess the ratio of
Lesser:Great would be between 7:1 and 3:1. It's a pity that the field
guides aren't very good for this group. They're not nearly as hard to
identify as rumour would have it. Adults of both sexes can always be
identified by the presence (Lesser) or absence (Great) of white 'spurs' in
the armpits.   
David James
PO BOX 5225
Townsville Mail Centre 4810

To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the quotes)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU