What the Frigatebird?

A Magnificent Frigatebird showed up today in the Pelee area.  Yes – a Frigatebird.  A bird you’d expect to find soaring overhead along the beaches in southern Florida or possibly along the Gulf, Baja or points further south, but not on Lake Erie. Joan and Mike from Pelee Wings Nature Store spotted and reported the bird early afternoon, so as soon I was finished work, I jumped in the car and headed straight down to look.  The last reported sighting was just before 3pm and it was close to 6pm by the time I got to the area but my hopes were still up.

As I drove over the bridge at Sturgeon Creek, I looked to my right and immediately spotted the bird soaring over the cottage roofs.  Magnificent!  I pulled over and made a couple quick calls, sent a few texts and posted the update for others that may be out looking.  I lost sight of the bird so I drove over to Pelee Wings to talk to Joan and Mike.  Mike graciously invited me out on the deck for another look.

I waited and watched and scanned the lake from the deck.  Eventually a few other local birders showed up and within a short while, the bird reappeared.  Great looks were had by all. The bird soared right overhead.  We watched the bird track back and forth along the shore until it eventually settled down in a tree in the Sturgeon Creek outlet/harbour area.  What a gorgeous evening and a truly Magnificent bird. Thanks again Joan and Mike!

The lighting wasn’t the greatest but here’s some select shots of the Magnificent Frigatebird – Essex County Lifer #307. Click an image to view full size.




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