Rescued Magnificent Frigatebird at Texas State Aquarium Named “Storm” by Online Voters
March 15, 2018
A recently arrived magnificent frigatebird injured during Hurricane Harvey and rehabilitated by the Texas State Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue & Recovery Center has been named Storm as voted on by nearly 500 aquarium followers in an online vote. Nearly 50 percent favored the new name, showing a strong preference over “Marina” and “Isla.”
In August 2017, soon after Harvey swept through the Coastal Bend, rescuers encountered this juvenile seabird, whose species is primarily found soaring high above offshore waters, struggling in the shallow surf near Loyola Beach. She was cold and soaked in seawater – since frigatebirds’ feathers are not waterproofed – and was covered in cactus spines.
Like many residents of Texas and the Coastal Bend, Storm stood strong and began a journey to slowly but surely recover. She was admitted into the Aquarium’s Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Center, where her cactus spines were removed and she was examined for further injury. Unfortunately, it was found that she was unable to extend one of her wings, rendering her unable to fly for the rest of her life.
Since she will be unable to survive in the wild, Storm will make a new home at the Aquarium, serving as an ambassador for her species and helping to teach thousands of guests about the importance of looking after wildlife.
Storm is currently on exhibit in Caribbean Journey’s Blue Hole Overlook, sharing the space with Amos the American white pelican. Storm is possibly the rarest animal the Aquarium has ever had on exhibit, being the only magnificent frigatebird in any zoo or aquarium in North America, according to AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) records. Storm and Amos will be monitored closely during their first several months of their new habitat to ensure they are exhibiting normal behaviors and are eating well. Their exhibit times may vary based on a variety of factors, but the Aquarium plans to have them on exhibit for most of the day.