Christmas frigatebird

   ›      ›   Christmas frigatebird - Fregata andrewsi.

The Christmas frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) belongs to the family Fregatidae. These frigatebird species is distributed in Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

Taxonomy of Christmas frigatebird

  • Scientific Name: Fregata andrewsi
  • Common Name: Christmas frigatebird
  • French: Frégate d’Andrews; German: Weißbauch-Fregattvogel; Spanish: Rabihorcado de la Christmas;
  • Other names: Christmas Island frigatebird;
  • Family: Fregatidae › Suliformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Mathews, 1914
Fregata andrewsi species was earlier included in F. aquila. It is closely related to the great frigatebird (F. minor).

Indian birds - Christmas Island frigatebird - Fregata andrewsi
Indian birds - Christmas Island frigatebird - Fregata andrewsi


The Christmas frigatebird species measures 90 to 100 cm in length. The male weighs about 1,400 gram. The female frigatebird is slightly larger and weighs about 1,550 grams. It is mostly black with white belly patch and the tail is forked. The male has a red gular pouch. The bill is long dark and hooked.


The breeding habitat is tall forest trees in the Christmas Islands. The non-breeding birds wander about foraging in the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand and Sulu Sea.

Feeding habits

These frigatebirds feed by plucking the prey out of water. They feed on squids, flying fish and other marine animals. They also snatch feed from other seabirds.


These frigatebird species breeds once in two years and only one chick is produced. They nest on tall trees.


These bird species is endemic to Christmas Islands in the Indian Ocean. These frigatebirds breed only in these Islands. After raising the chicks they disperse to surrounding seas, to return after two years for breeding.

Movement Patterns

These frigate species are sedentary. They breed only in these islands and foraging in the surrounding seas.

Status and conservation

The population of these birds has declined by around 66% over the last three generations. As these birds breed once in two years and have only one chick, with all the conservation efforts the recovery is very slow. They are considered critically endangered.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these frigatebird species and has listed them as "Critically Endangered".

Biological classification of Fregata andrewsi
Species:F. andrewsi
Binomial name:Fregata andrewsi
Distribution:Indian Ocean;
Feeding habits:squid, flying fish and other fish;
IUCN status listing:
Critically Endangered

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