Avian Odyssey

As Seth and his team are in flight for their odyssey in search of the golden swallow, it seems fitting that we come across the stories of epic avian journeys. Just about a year ago we posted about the bar-tailed godwit, and it seems the species has some stiff competition in the semipalmated sandpiper.

Scientists from the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences recovered data from a geolocator tagged sandpiper from sub-Arctic Coats Island revealing that the bird flew over 10,000 miles in the past year, including a remarkable six day, 3,300-mile nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Highlights from the Geotagged Semipalmated Sandpiper's JourneyManomet researchers Brad Winn and Shiloh Schulte returned from eastern Canada’s Coats Island last week with the first two geolocators for the Semipalmated Sandpiper migration study, which was designed to solve one of the most pressing mysteries in shorebird conservation…

The data from each geolocator gives us a glimpse into a previously unknown world: the timing and flight path of an entire year in the life of a Semipalmated Sandpiper,” Brown said. “Understanding the migratory journey of each of these birds will help us better understand the population trends and wintering habits of this species so that we can help its populations recover.

Read more about the study here.


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