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FOR THE BIRDS

A Bird Flies 2,500 miles for baby’s food.

Talk about a working mother. A Christmas Island frigate bird named Lydia recently made a nonstop journey for just over 26 days and covering nearly 2,500 miles across Indonesian volcanoes and some of Asian’s busiest shipping lanes in search of food for her baby.

The trip, tracked with a global positioning device by scientists at Christmas Island National Park, is by far the longest known nonstop journey by one of these critically endangered seabirds. Previously, the black-and-white scavengers with distinctive pink beaks and wingspans of up to 8 feet were known only to fly a few hundred miles from their nesting sites, staying away just for a few days at a time, officials said. “It’s a real revelation”, said David James, coordinator of biodiversity monitoring for Christmas Island National Park, the birds’ only known breeding ground. “The thing that really surprised me is that it was a long, nonstop journey, and that she crossed overland volcanoes,” James said. Normally, you would expect the seabirds to fly over the sea.

Lydia’s trip started Oct. 18 from Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean about 310 miles south of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and 1,600 miles northwest of Perth, in western Australia.

Leaving a baby chick in the care of her partner, Lydia headed south over open waters probably to steal fish from other seabirds, a common habit among the frigate birds.

She then circled back on Oct. 26 and flew between Indonesia’s Java and Sumatra islands. From there, she headed across Borneo island on Nov. 9 before back over Java and returning on Nov. 14 to her nesting site, where she likely regurgitated a meal for her chick.

Are we as humans as attentive and loving to our children as the frigate bird has proved itself to be? If, not, then what right do we have to designate ourselves as the best creature, among all the other creatures on this planet?

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