Bar-tailed Godwits fly New Zealand to China non-stop

From Asia-Pacific Shorebird network news:

... the experiment of putting satellite transmitters on Bar-tailed Godwits in New Zealand to track their northward migration has been a resounding success. One bird has just reached Yalu Jiang, at the northern end of the Yellow Sea in China, in a non-stop flight from Miranda Nature Reserve, in the Firth of Thames in North Island, New Zealand. The distance between these two locations is 9,575 km but the actual track flown by the bird was 10,200 km. This is the longest known non-stop flight of any bird. The flight took approximately nine days. ...

Only 10 to 15 years ago many people were sceptical that godwits and knot flew from the north west of Australia 5500 km non-stop to Chongming Dao in the Yangtze River Estuary. Since then it has become apparent that Bar-tailed Godwits fly up to 11,000 km non-stop on southward migration from Alaska to New Zealand and Australia. It was thought this was achieved because the birds were aided by weather conditions which gave them an extremely strong tail wind in the early stages of that flight from Alaska. Researchers have now shown that Bar-tailed Godwits are capable of flying a similar distance on northward migration, without apparent exceptionally favourable wind conditions. ...

March 29, 2007

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Another astonishing godwit flight, revealed by satellite tracking; indeed, showing amazing travelling by one godwit, during spring and autumn migrations this year. From Asia-Pacific Shorebird Network: [quote]E7 – a female Bar-tailed Godwit fitted with a satellite transmitter at Miranda, Firth of Thames in New Zealand on 6th February returned to the place of tagging on the evening of Friday 7 September (local time) after a logged flight of 29,181 km (about 500 hours of flying). During that time she flew to the Yellow Sea, where she stayed for five weeks before flying to Alaska to breed, then flew 11,570 km back to her regular non-breeding site in New Zealand in about 8 days 12 hours.[/quote] Bar-tailed Godwit E7 returns after a marathon flight