Christmas frigatebird

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Christmas frigatebird
Christmas Island Frigatebird.JPG
A juvenile at Jakarta Bay, Indonesia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Fregatidae
Genus: Fregata
Species: F. andrewsi
Binomial name
Fregata andrewsi
Mathews, 1914

The Christmas frigatebird or Christmas Island frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) is a frigatebird endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Like other frigatebirds, this species does not walk or swim, but is a very aerial bird which obtains its food by picking up live prey items from beaches or the water surface, and from aerial piracy of other birds.

It is estimated that the population of this species will decline by 80 percent in the next 30 years due to predation of the young by the introduced yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), which has devastated the wildlife of the island, and has also killed 10–20 million Christmas Island red crabs.

The adult male of this species is easily identified, since it is all black except for a white belly patch. Other plumages resemble those of the smaller lesser frigatebird, but have whiter bellies and longer white underwing spurs.

The binomial name of this bird commemorates the British palaeontologist Charles William Andrews.


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