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Magnificent Frigatebird Weathervane

Magnificent Frigate Bird Weather Vane


This Magnificent Frigatebird Weathervane (Fregata magnificens), was commissioned as a birthday gift for our customer’s hubby, to be mounted on their oceanside home in the Florida Keys. While all of our spread-winged weather vane designs come with a security device included, to prevent them from ‘taking off’ on windy days, we went further for this design. Because of the location’s exposure to potentially very high winds, and the very long wings of the frigatebird, we also added extra bracing in the wings and gussets attaching them. It may have taken some additional engineering to get this sculpture piece sturdy enough for its location, but does it ever look great against the skyline with those long wings and that long, split tail!

Here’s what our customer had to say about it:

This is absolutely beautiful!!!  Exactly what I wanted/envisioned.  This will be a showpiece. Thank you all so much!!

We fabricated this vane in copper. It is a mirror image piece constructed in swell-bodied style. The glass eyes are brown, and the red throat patch is enameled. While we don’t recommend enamel for large surfaces, it seems to work well when applied carefully in smaller areas. We also inscribed the customer’s name and the date on the horizontal rod, and capped it with ‘Lucky Pennies‘.

Frigatebirds are able to soar for weeks on wind currents, and spend most of the day in flight hunting for food, and roost on trees or cliffs at night. Their main prey are fish and squid, caught when chased to the water surface by large predators such as tuna. They are referred to as kleptoparasites as they occasionally rob other seabirds for food, and are known to snatch seabird chicks from the nest. Seasonally monogamous, frigatebirds nest colonially. A single egg is laid each breeding season. The duration of parental care is among the longest of any bird species; frigatebirds are only able to breed every other year.

Three species of frigatebird have been described from fossil deposits in the western United States, two—L. azygosternon and L. hasegawai—from the Green River Formation (48–52 million years old) and one—L. hutchisoni—from the Wasatch Formation (between 53 and 55 million years of age). Fossil material indistinguishable from living species dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene has been recovered from Ascension Island (for F. aquila), Saint Helena Island, both in the southern Atlantic Ocean, and also from various islands in the Pacific Ocean (for F. minor and F. ariel).