Ascension: Boatswain Bird Island

Just off the eastern shore of Ascension lies a small island – Boatswain Island. The island is the main breeding ground for the spectacular Ascension Frigatebird. We got lucky to arrive here at sunrise and skies were just full of the magnificent black frigates, soaring all around us and above the ship. The Ascension Frigatebird (Fregata aquila) breeds only here and is endemic – the entire world’s population breeds in the flattop plateau of this small island (on the mainland Ascension rats have decimated the birds). Their wingspan of around 2 m (6.6 ft) and females are slightly larger than males. They feed mostly on flying fish, that they scoop while the former is in the air. Besides Frigatebirds, there are plenty of other birds like masked boobies and terns.