Bird travels 8,000 miles non-stop from Alaska to Australia

That’s no flight of fancy! Bird travels 8,000 miles non-stop from Alaska to Australia… beating its own previous record

  • The bar-tailed godwit flew for 239 hours for 8,108 miles from Alaska to Australia
  • The male bird beat its own world record for a non-stop avian flight set last year
  • Last year, it broke a 13-year record when it flew from Alaska to New Zealand 

A bird likened to a jet fighter for its aerodynamic shape has beaten his own world record for non-stop avian flight with a journey of 8,108 miles.

The bar-tailed godwit, carrying a tiny solar-powered satellite tracker, left Alaska on September 17 and flew for 239 hours on its epic journey, arriving in Australia on September 27.

The male bird, known as 4BBRW, had been heading for its summer grounds in New Zealand but winds over the Pacific forced it to take a detour. The bird has now left Australia and flown across the Tasman Sea.

A bar-tailed godwit, likened to a jet fighter for its aerodynamic shape, has beaten his own world record for non-stop avian flight with a journey of 8,108 miles

Last year the same godwit beat the previous 13-year record set by a female of the species when it flew 7,500 miles non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand.

Males weigh up to 14oz (around 400g) and gorge on molluscs, worms and insects before long flights, often doubling in size. They can shrink their internal organs to lighten their load. 

They are likened by some experts to a jet fighter because of their long, pointed wings and sleek shape.

Last year the same godwit beat the previous 13-year record set by a female of the species when it flew 7,500 miles non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand

Bar-tailed godwits breed in Alaska but spend the Austral summer in New Zealand and Australia, making the journey there and back every year of its 22 year expected lifespan.

Around 325,000 godwits make the trip annually, typically completing it in two stages – moving from Alaska to the Yellow Sea between mainland China and the Korean peninsula and then onto its summer home.

Prior to the flight, their fat reserves generally constitute more than half of their body weight.

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