Frigate Birds Can Fly Nonstop For Weeks

Posted: Jul 1 2016, 8:11am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Frigate Birds Can Fly Nonstop For Weeks
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  • The Frigate Bird can Traverse Oceans without taking a Break

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It has been found that the frigate bird can traverse whole oceans without taking a break. This avian species has a lot of endurance.

The birds were called “frigate birds” due to their similarity to warships. These avians look very strong with their bifurcated tail feathers and lengthy wingspan. In fact, their shadows on the ocean’s surface could well resemble those of their ancient cousins, the pterodactyls.

These fine-feathered friends of ours are capable of herculean tasks. They can fly for a time period amounting to 60 days without landing on the ground even once during that time span. The fact that they do it effortlessly is even more of a miracle of modern biology.

"It is impressive," Henri Weimerskirch, an ornithologist at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, told Washington Post. "There is no other bird species like them."

Frigate birds can soar to 2000 feet above sea level and then swoop down to the ground base in a jiffy. All it takes for them to accomplish this maneuver is a single flap of their large and expansive wings. They indeed leave behind quite an impression on human beings.

No other bird resembles them in its repertoire of fascinating skills. After two years of tracking 80 frigate birds, a researcher came to several conclusions.

A greater knowledge of their actions especially with reference to how they defy the force of gravity was reached thanks to the study. While frigate birds have a diet that consists entirely of fish, they cannot swim through the water.

Nature made them for soaring through the skies. These strange birds fly for weeks on end high above the seas and oceans. They keep an eye on any marine life forms that emerge from the depths.

These birds then swoop down and catch them in their beaks and gobble them up. The birds can achieve this miraculous task thanks to a mastery of air currents.

By means of GPS trackers, heart rate monitors and accelerometers that were attached to the birds’ bodies, the researchers managed to find out how they use the thermal and trade winds to navigate in a suitable manner.

The birds expend as much energy as they would while sitting in a nest. They are the only seabirds that do not have feathers that can resist the soaking effects of water.

Yet the frigate birds are careful never to wet their feathers. They skim over the surface of the ocean and snatch any fishes that come within reach. These birds also go on lengthy journeys in search of their prey.

The study on the nonstop flight of frigate bird got published in the journal Science.

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