Christmas Island Frigatebird   BIRD
Christmas Island Frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird
© Linda Cash
Scientific Name:
Fregata andrewsi
Other Names and/or Listed subspecies:
Andrew's Frigatebird
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: June 14, 1976
CR-IUCN: 2010
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:
Indian Ocean (Christmas Island)

The Christmas Island frigatebird is only found on the Christmas Islands in the Indian Ocean. It is one of five species of frigatebird and the rarest. Frigates birds are very aerial birds and do not walk or swim. They are known as the "pirates" of the bird kingdom because they are known to mercilessly harass other birds, (such as terns and boobies) for the purpose of stealing their food. This aggressive behavior presumably gave rise to the naming of frigatebirds after the early frigate war ships. Frigatebirds are easily identified by their angular wings and deeply forked tails. Adults grow from 35.4 to 39.4 inches in length. Both males and females are black with pale bars on the upperwings, but females have a white breast and belly. Also, males have an inflatable red throat sac that they display when looking for mates.

These birds are usually found in pairs, and it is estimated that only one to two thousand pairs remain on the island. Diet consists of flying fish, squid and other marine animals, and prey is caught by "bomb diving" other birds (forcing them to regurgitate their meals) and catching the food in mid-air. This species has a long breeding season and breeds from January to October. Females only produce one chick, and they only breed once every second year. For nesting, they choose tall forest trees sheltered from strong winds in the area.

This species is threatened by loss of habitat due to forest clearance and human disturbance. The species is also vulnerable to cyclones and forest fires in the area, and introduced yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) are known to prey on nestlings and alter the island's ecology. Poaching once occurred but was ceased in the 1980s. This species is constantly monitored, and in 1980, the Christmas Island National Park was established and includes two of the three current breeding colonies.

Wikipedia Article

This article is only an excerpt. If it appears incomplete or if you wish to see article references, visit the rest of its contents here.
Wikipedia Article
Copyright Notice: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Christmas frigatebird".

Featured Article

Eight Species Declared Extinct But May Still be Out There
1. Tasmanian Devil
The Tasmanian devil is endemic to Australia. Although this species is called tiger (named for its stripes) and wolf (due to its canid-like appearance), it is not a member of the cat or wolf family. It is a member of the marsupial family. Other members of this family include kangaroos and koala bears.

The last known Tasmanian tiger died in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania in 1936, but there have been hundreds of unconfirmed sightings, and a reserve has been set up in Southwestern Tasmania in the hopes that possible surviving individuals can have adequate habitat.


Endangered Species of Our Planet

Donate, Adopt, Get Involved

EEC Conservation Directory

Mailing List

Would you like to receive a notice and link when the new Creature Feature is posted?

Enter your e-mail address below:


Fun & Games

Are you inspired by endangered animals? Check out our games and coloring pages! More to come soon.
color endangered creatures
play hangman