A bar-tailed godwit just broke the record for the longest non-stop migratory flight ever recorded!
The bird, scientifically known as Limosa lapponica, broke the previous record by some 700 kilometers (around 435 miles).
According to Bird Guides, bar-tailed godwits make the trek from their Alaska breeding grounds to New Zealand or the surrounding area for winter.
The Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust have been using satellite trackers to monitor the round trip of the birds for years, and that’s how they were able to catch the incredible 11-day trip of one particular bird.
Andrew Darby shared the news online, tweeting: “Wonderful news on ultramarathon flying Bar-tailed Godwits. Satellite tracked bird has flown NONSTOP from Alaska to Tasmania for the first time! What a trip! Thanks
@miranda_trust, Max Planck Institute and others for this work drawing our world together. Nature is wild!”
Wonderful news on ultramarathon flying Bar-tailed Godwits. Satellite tracked bird has flown NONSTOP from Alaska to Tasmania for the first time! What a trip! Thanks @miranda_trust, Max Planck Institute and others for this work drawing our world together. Nature is wild! 1/2 pic.twitter.com/NnT0QtLCUx
— Andrew Darby (@looksouth) October 24, 2022
The bird ended up flying a record-breakig 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) between Alaska and Ansons Bay, Tasmania without touching land.
According to IFL Science, Sean Dooley of Birdlife Australia explained that the bar-tailed godwit has a wide range, but they generally don’t go further from their breeding grounds than Tasmania. Because of that, it’s unlikely that this bird’s record will be broken, and if it is broken, it probably won’t be by much.
According to Birdlife International, the bar-tailed godwit is classified as near-threatened. Conservationists are working to monitor the species and get to learn more about their migratory habits. Knowing if and when they rest during migrations can help those conservation efforts.
Knowing what the bird species is capable of offers hope for the future of the species. Flying 11 days without a break takes a lot of resilience and stamina!Whizzco