Scientific Name: Fregata ariel
Malay Name: Simbang Kecil
Chinese Name: 白斑军舰鸟
Breeds in tropical and subtropical Indian, Pacific and south Atlantic Oceans with non-breeder wanders widely to the coastal seas of southern Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia
Polytypic. Subspecies are: trinitatis, iredalei, ariel.
Local Subspecies: ariel
Size: 71-81 cm
Male has overall blackish plumage with prominent whitish patches extending from side of body to inner underwing-coverts and red gular pouch. Female has black hood and belly with white on the rest of underparts, extending in axillary spur onto inner underwing-coverts. Juvenile resembles female but has rufous to brownish white head, white belly and black breast-band. Apart from size, difficult to distinguish from juvenile Christmas Frigatebird but possibly has narrower black breast-band.
Similar looking species: Christmas Frigatebird
Habitat: Open seas
Behaviour/Ecology: Catches flying fish in mid-flight and harasses other sea birds to force them to disgorge their catch which is then caught in mid-air.
Local Status: Rare non-breeding visitor.
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)
Past records, bar chart (see more bar charts):
BirdLife International. (2018). Fregata ariel. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22697738A132598822.en. Accessed on 19 December 2021
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.