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Movements of Magnificent Frigatebirds from communal roosts and nest sites in the Florida Keys

A project of Avian Research and Conservation Inst in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.

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NameSpeciesLife StageRelease DateLast LocationDays Transmitted
Dry Tortugas Female Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2013-05-152015-11-29928
Dry Tortugas Male Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2013-05-152015-11-29928
Keys 5 Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2012-10-172014-11-13757
Keys 6 Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2012-10-192014-06-30619
Keys 7 Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2012-10-192015-11-301137
Keys 8 Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2012-10-202012-11-2031
Keys 9 Male Magnificent FrigatebirdAdult2012-10-212015-11-291134

Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.


Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) are thought to be declining across their range due to habitat destruction and human disturbance at nesting sites. They roost in the Florida Keys (breeding does not begin until at least five to seven years of age) and other coastal areas in the U.S., but only a single small nesting colony exists in this country, suggesting that virtually all birds at seasonal roosts in the U.S. were produced and are nesting in other countries. About 50% of the Caribbean breeding colonies have been extirpated. Because of their foraging habits and a widely dispersed prey base, Magnificent Frigatebirds may be acutely affected by climate change and resulting warmer sea temperatures. Protection of this species, therefore, requires international cooperation and management, yet the absence of ecological and movement data on Magnificent Frigatebirds in the U.S. confounds conservation planning. In collaboration with USFWS biologist Tom Wilmers, we deployed satellite/GPS tracking units Magnificent Frigatebirds captured at roosts in the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges. Our objectives are to determine for the first time where these birds breed, the timing of migration to and from breeding areas, patterns of seasonal movements, and fidelity to roost and nest sites.

Project Partners

Tom Wilmers (U.S Fish and Wildlife Service)

Sonny Bass (National Park Service)


Project Sponsors

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

Florida Keys Audubon Society

National Park Service


  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without explicit written consent.
  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • If you have questions or would like to request the use of maps or data for this project please contact

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