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Frigate Birds on Barbuda

9th January 2021

The colony is located in the great Codrington Lagoon, Barbuda. Our guide, Solomon, picks us up at the anchorage by motorboat. Even the journey through the mangroves is exciting.

From a distance you can see the frigate birds in the air. The colony is one of the largest in the world. About 10,000 frigate birds live here. The males fly to the Galapagos in the summer, the females stay here all year round.

I'm thrilled, I've never seen so many birds at once.

We're lucky, it's courtship time. The males inflate their eye-catching red throat pouch to impress the females, and they make a drum-like noise.

The young can be recognized by their white head, the females have white breast plumage.

It is fascinating. Everywhere the red throat pouches peek out from between the mangroves.

The name “frigate birds” comes from the fact that the frigate birds sometimes attack other birds on their hunt for food and steal their prey from them; just as the pirate frigates attacked other ships.

We sit in our boat for a while and watch the unique spectacle. Then Solomon brings us back to the boat.

The visit to the frigate bird colony was a special encounter with nature and for me personally it is one of the highlights of our trip so far. The skipper, who normally doesn't care for wildlife viewing, was visibly impressed. For all those who travel to Antigua, with or without a boat (you can take the ferry from Antigua), a visit to the frigate birds is highly recommended

Today we have something very special to do. The SY Flora has organized a trip to the frigate colony on Barbuda.

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