Image of the Week

Image of the Week

Image of the Week

Shameless Self-Inflation

christmas-island-frigate-bird Christmas Island frigate bird. Credit: Max Orchard, Parks Australia.

The Christmas Island frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) know how to call attention to themselves, especially the males, which inflate bright, red gular pouches on their necks to attract females. This critically endangered species, native to Australia, is number nine on a recently released list of the world’s 100 most endangered and unique birds, published in Current Biology, with only 2,400 to 4,800 adults left in the wild.

It’s a member of Fregatidae family of birds, which “boast the largest wingspan to body weight ratio in the world, which means it can stay happily aloft for more than a week at a time without rest,” according to Bec Crew of SciAm’s Running Ponies blog. “It’s also pretty great at performing kleptoparasitism, which means stealing food from other birds, so that’s something.”

Read more here: “Meet the Ten Most Endangered and Distinctive Birds in the World.”

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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