Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Glimpse of the Magnificent

On a recent Sunday afternoon, B and I were heading home from the lighthouse, when I spotted a very large bird sailing across the sky. With binoculars, I was able to identify it as a Magnificent Frigatebird. Not friggin,' Frigate. It is also  known as the Man-o-War, or Man of War, bird.

I had never seen one here in the Panhandle, though I have in places south of here. I have not mastered the technique of photographing flying birds, but I gave it my best shot(s) until it disappeared behind clouds. This was the only one that was close to focused.

Sadly, you cannot see its deep swallowtail. You have no concept of how large it is: the wingspan may be more than 7 feet. This one was a juvenile with lighter feathers on the head.  The males have these amazing red gular sacs (throat pouches) that they inflate to impress the gals. They are truly impressive birds and it felt like a privilege to see it.

For better pictures, click on this webpage:

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