A 12,000-kilometre non-stop round-the-world flight from Alaska to New Zealand would tire out even the most seasoned air traveler, without the help of a snack, a nap, or some distracting entertainment. For the male bar-tailed godwit, on the other hand, it’s a piece of cake.
Scientists say the bird has set a new world record for avian non-stop flight, after tracking its route over 11 days from southwest Alaska to a bay near Auckland, flying at speeds of up to 55 km/h
They are designed like a jet fighter. Long, pointed wings and a really sleek design which gives them a lot of aerodynamic potentials. Conklin is a scientist with the Global Flyaway Network, a worldwide partnership between researchers who study epic migratory patterns.
Researchers at the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, southeast of Auckland, had caught and tagged the bird and 20 others in late 2019. The bird labeled as 4BBRW due to the blue, red and white rings on its legs, had been fitted with a satellite tag on its back. Scientists say the bird, along with four others, left from the Alaskan mudflats on Sept. 16, where they had feasted for two months on clams and worms.
The satellite recorded a point-to-point flight of 12,854 kilometers, but scientists have estimated that the distance traveled will have been around 12,200 kilometers once rounding errors are accounted for. The previous longest non-stop flight on record was by a bird that flew 11,680 kilometers. That effort was recorded in 2007, and it was also by a bar-tailed godwit (on that occasion female).