Conservation Status

The Ascension frigatebird is listed as Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction, and the Christmas frigatebird is considered Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction. Both lost much of their habitat when people devel

SKY PIRATES

Frigatebirds usually catch their own meals, but they are famous for the way they steal food from other birds. In fact, they were named after the fast frigate ships used by pirates who robbed other ships at sea. When a frigatebird notices that another seabird has caught a fish, it often dives at the seabird like a fighter jet and jabs it until it drops the fish. If the seabird has already swallowed its meal, the frigatebird may grab it by the neck, tail, or wing and dangle it until it coughs up its load. Instantly, the frigatebird swoops down and snatches its free lunch.

oped the islands where they breed, and they do not like to be disturbed by people who come to watch and photograph them close-up. But their biggest trouble is the variety of mammals brought to the islands by people. Rats, pigs, goats, and pet cats eat the frigatebirds' eggs and chicks, and they destroy the plants the birds need in breeding areas.

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