Lesser Frigate-Birds off Sydney NSW

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Subject: Lesser Frigate-Birds off Sydney NSW
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 16:24:43 +1100
Hi Birders,
Mike Simpson on 8/11/03 enquired about the status of Lesser Frigate-birds off Sydney NSW. The following is the information available to me from E.S.Hoskin's book "The Birds of Sydney" 1991 Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Limited and from information published in the NSW Bird Reports from 1970.
The precise identity of Frigatebirds seen near Sydney in December 1932, March 1951 (3), and January 1983 was not determined.
Records of Lesser Frigate-birds for the County of Cumberland (=Sydney) are as follows:
Dee Why 24/2/1957 and again on 3/3/1957 and at that time, possibly the same bird at Lion Island & Broken Bay
1 5km off Sydney Heads  26/2/1983
One over Curra Moors, Royal NP 5/3/1983
1 10 km off Sydney Heads  23/2/1985
However on 18/11/2001 one was seen on the Wollongong pelagic to the south of Sydney and on 19/7/1959 a pair were seen of Budgewoi Beach, on the Central Coast just to the north of Sydney.
So to answer Mike Simpson's question, Lesser Frigate-birds are rare birds in the Sydney Region with a minimum of 4 proven records and possibly eight records, therefore his report of 2 birds in the early 1970s in Sydney Harbour would have been of interest at the time. All up there are 39 records for Lesser Frigate-birds in NSW and 4 Greater Frigate-bird records (the latter accepted by the NSW Records Appraisal Committee). Most records for both species are for the far North Coast of NSW.
Alan K. Morris
Birding NSW Records Officer
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