Terence (L) and David (Science Coordinator, R) were interviewed about the bird by SBC Radio
The Frigatebird recovered and left. One day last week we went to check on it, as we have been doing every morning, and it was gone from the mangroves where it had been making steady progress towards recovery. For the past week staff at Nature Seychelles have been feeding the bird with fish. At first it had to be force-fed but eventually it got to feeding itself. Soon we noticed it was moving around. It had in fact originally moved from the Bird hide to the mangroves by itself.
The bird has generated quite some interest with both SBC Radio and TV recording nature programmes around it. More about those programmes when they air, but they focused on the bird, where its found in the Seychelles and steps to take when one finds an injured bird.
A Frigatebird rescued from the harbour was brought into our office today. It seemed unable to fly. Frigatebirds, abundant throughout Seychelles and breeding on Aldabra and nearby islands, are long-distance fliers that spend most of their life flying over the ocean with a gliding flight. However, they do not land on sea. Unlike other seabirds, the feet are not webbed, making it difficult for them to paddle through water. Their feet are also too small and do not give the bird the force needed to become airborne from the surface of the sea. For food, Frigatebirds pick prey from the water surface. They also snatch fish from other birds in the air. For seabirds, they have poor water proofing. We think the reason our bird will not fly is that it got a bit of water in its wings. No injuries were visible.
We took the bird outside and attempted to perch it on the mangroves, popular with Frigatebirds for nesting, but it was incapable of balance.
In the end, we decided the bird hide would be best for it to rest and recover. It is currently patched there where it has a great view.
The bird hide is the place where visitors to the wetland [Sanctuary at Roche Caiman] get the opportunity to view birds. It’s a nice place at the end of a boardwalk. Visitors to the hide are asked to observe these rules:
– Stay quiet
– Do not tamper with displays in the hide
– Hold on to your litter or take it to the nearest bin
– Smoking and chewing gum are strictly prohibited.
Somehow I don’t see the Frigatebird having any trouble with these rules. All the same we hope it will leave the hide and return to its long distance gliding.
More Frigatebird facts at our website