Fregata ariel

Scientific Name:-
Fregata ariel

Common Name:-
Lesser Frigatebird

Malayalam Name:-
Chinna Kadalkallan

Sea/Shore birds

Least Concern


This small frigatebird measures 66–81 cm in length with a wingspan of 155–193 cm and long forked tails. Male has a large red sac on the front of the throat which is inflated during courtshipThe male is mostly all black save for a white patch on the flank which extends on to the underwing as a spur. Males also have a pale bar on the upper wing. Females have a black head and neck with a white collar and breast as well as a spur extending on to the underwing. The female also has a narrow red ring around the eye. Juveniles and immature birds are more difficult to differentiate but the presence of the spurs of white in the armpits is a helpful distinguishing sign.


Not recorded


It is the smallest species of frigatebirds. Recorded from Kerala by Sashikumar et al. (2011).


Pelagic, occurring over tropical and subtropical waters across the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as off the Atlantic coast. The lesser frigatebird (Fregata ariel) is a seabird of the frigatebird family Fregatidae.



BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Fregata minor. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/02/2015.
Sashikumar,C., Praveen, J. Palot, M.J., Nameer, P.O. 2011. Birds of Kerala: status and distribution. DC Books, Kottayam. Pp. 590–593

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