Endangered Frigatebird “Lydia” Tracked in Google Earth

Lydia the Frigatebird in Google EarthRight before the holidays a critically endangered species of Frigatebird, which breeds on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, made the news. Scientists had tagged a female of the species (Fregata andrewsi) and using satellite tracking (similar to GPS) watched in amazement as she completed a 2500+ mile journey around southeast asia returning with food for her young. One of the Google Earth Community members, a Gary Hodges of Kentucky, decided to create an informative Google Earth file about the journey of Lydia and the background about these unique and beautiful birds. His file includes image overlays of satellite photos for the islands, the path of the flight, placemarks with pictures and text describing the birds and breeding grounds and locations along the journey, and maps describing the areas in more detail.
Gary also created an interesting “table of contents” of placemarks, in a column viewed with north up, which give an organized list of links providing background information on the bird, its endangered status, and the environment it lives in. This is an excellent method of using a Google Earth file to present a documentary of a subject. Great work Gary!
Another example of this documentary technique is the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
By the way, when I first started to write this story earlier this month, I discovered Gary had used a satellite photo of a different Christmas Island. The other one is located in the Pacific south of Hawaii and was used as a testing ground for Nuclear Bomb tests by the US. This was an easy mistake as my initial searches came up with the same satellite photo. Gary was quick to correct this mistake and added some other enhancements to his collection as well.

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