Using satellite telemetry, we studied the postbreeding movements of Great (Fregata minor) and Magnificent Frigatebirds (F. magnificens) at two breeding colonies in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. After breeding failure, 67% of the birds with satellite transmitters remained on the breeding colonies and continued to perform foraging trips similar to those undertaken while breeding. Two Magnificent Frigatebirds that bred at a colony off the coast of French Guiana moved west along the coast of South America, and one of the two reached Trinidad 1400 km away. One Great Frigatebird moved 4400 km from Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel to the Maldive Islands. It roosted there for at least four months, making foraging trips of up to 240 km, mainly to an area known for its high concentration of tuna. These results show that frigatebirds are able to make rapid and directed long-distance dispersal movements to other colonies or roosting sites, although the majority of birds remain based on breeding colonies.
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Vol. 108 • No. 1