Christmas Island Frigate
Critically endangered, the Christmas Island Frigate endures many threats including fishing net entanglement and hunting, as well as invasive ants, cats and rats. It breeds every other year producing one egg. The hatchling requires fifteen months of parenting. Breeding and survival is low.
The male Christmas Island Frigate is predominantly black with a glossy green, blue and purple sheen to the long feathers on his head and back. He also sports a spectacular red gular sac which he inflates and drums with his bill to attract a mate.
Frigatebirds are capable of staying in flight for several days and nights. They use thermals to soar up to 2.5 kilometers high before gliding downwards and climbing again in succession, with little need for wing flapping.
The artist spent three hours per square inch creating this acrylic painting while wearing magnifying goggles. A magnifying glass is required to appreciate the minute details.