And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (Mark 4:39-40 KJV)
Here in central Florida, we have been dealing with Tropical Storm Colin for the last few days. In fact, we had 3.31 inches of rain this morning and with yesterday’s count, we have had 4 inches of rain in two days. Our birds have been rather wet. Also, I stayed off of the computer because of the lightning in the rain storms. These are not my reports, because I have been home, out of the rain, still fighting my bronchitis.
But, what I want to tell you about, is the reports that are coming in about sightings of Frigatebirds. Florida has a listing service where people report sightings of birds. Usually they are rare sightings. When storms like Colin are in the area, birds get blown off course and birdwatchers get the joy of seeing more rare birds. Many are pelagic, which means they normally fly out over the gulf and oceans. They are rarely seen in towns.
“Saw a lone Frigatebird at 9:30 am on B. B. Downes below Cross Creek Blvd. Storm blown!” that is from a birder in North Hillsborough County, basically, North Tampa area. Here’s another report, “25 counted over Dunedin Causeway late yesterday afternoon between bands of rain. So cool they were flying at eye level on the bridge. M.R., Dunedin” Magnificent Frigatebirds report in Hernando and Pasco counties. And one more, “While stopped at the traffic light at Nebraska and Fowler. I noticed a group of ten frigatebirds circling just to the North about 8:30 this morning..”
Across the state several sea-going birds were spotted. A Fea’s Petrel off Miami, European Storm-Petrel, and a Promarine Jaeger. Needless to say, there are some happy, though wet birdwatchers that have enjoyed these spottings.
Back to the Frigatebirds. The top photo was one of the few times I have had the privilege of seeing one of the Frigatebirds. Frigatebirds are members of the Fregatidae Family of the Suliformes Order.
“All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Females have white underbellies and males have a distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract females. Their wings are long and pointed and can span up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.” (Wikipedia)
“Able to soar for days on wind currents, frigatebirds spend most of the day in flight hunting for food, and roost on trees or cliffs at night. Their main prey are fish and squid, caught when chased to the water surface by large predators such as tuna. Frigatebirds are referred to as kleptoparasites as they occasionally rob other seabirds for food, and are known to snatch seabird chicks from the nest. Seasonally monogamous, frigatebirds nest colonially. A rough nest is constructed in low trees or on the ground on remote islands. A single egg is laid each breeding season. The duration of parental care is among the longest of any bird species; frigatebirds are only able to breed every other year.” (Wikipedia)
“The magnificent frigatebird is the largest species of frigatebird. It measures 89–114 cm (35–45 in) in length, has a wingspan of 217–244 cm (85–96 in) and weighs 1,100–1,590 grams (2.43–3.51 lb). Males are all-black with a scarlet throat pouch that is inflated like a balloon in the breeding season. Although the feathers are black, the scapular feathers produce a purple iridescence when they reflect sunlight, in contrast to the male great frigatebird’s green sheen. Females are black, but have a white breast and lower neck sides, a brown band on the wings, and a blue eye-ring that is diagnostic of the female of the species. Immature birds have a white head and underparts.” (Wikipedia)
These magnificent creations from the Lord, their Creator, have been written about before. Just wanted to share them again. Even though we have storms in life, “Colin”, the Lord always seems to give us blessings, if our eyes and heart are open to Him.
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalms 107:28-31 KJV)
MagnificentFrigatebird – Wikipedia
Suliformes Order – Wikipedia