September 11, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

New World Record for Winged Migration

The BBC News reports that a female bar-tailed godwit flew 11,500km (almost 7200 mi) nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand.  The journey took about a week.  Observers at Massey University used electronic tags to catalog the birds’ flight.
    This distance is nearly double what ornithologists used to consider an “extremely long” flight.  This makes the godwits the new champions of avian migration.  “Unlike seabirds, which feed and rest on their long journeys or swifts which feed in flight, the godwits make their long journeys without feeding or drinking.”
    Even more amazing, some of the young follow weeks later without adult guidance.  Then, come January and February, the birds will fly back, completing their annual victory lap around the world.

Animals are never-ending sources of amazement and wonder.  Thank goodness the article spared us an evolutionary fable.

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Categories: Amazing Facts, Birds

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