Who’s got game in the bird world is not, strictly speaking, a phrase associated with ornithologists or what they do for a living. But sometimes, their news features what looks like competitive sport to the lay public. We have shared news of long-journey bird species on several occasions, and one that has the right stuff now stands out from the rest by virtue of tagging technology:
Bar-tailed godwit sets world record with 13,560km continuous flight from Alaska to southern Australia
Satellite tag data suggests five-month-old migratory bird did not stop during voyage which took 11 days and one hour to reach Tasmania
A juvenile bar-tailed godwit – known only by its satellite tag number 234684 – has flown 13,560 kilometres from Alaska to the Australian state of Tasmania without stopping, appearing to set a new world record for marathon bird flights.
The five-month-old bird set off from Alaska on 13 October and satellite data appeared to show it did not stop during its marathon flight which took 11 days and one hour.
Tagged in Alaska, the bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica, flew at least 13,560km (8,435 miles) before touching down at Ansons Bay in north-east Tasmania.
The previous record was held by an adult male of the same species – 4BBRW – that flew 13,000km (8,100 miles) last year, beating his own previous record of 12,000km the year before.
According to a Facebook post from the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre in New Zealand, 4BBRW’s record had been “blown out of the water by this young upstart”.
Scientists track the bird using a 5G satellite tag attached to its lower back.
According to data from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology’s bird tracking project, the migratory bird took a route to the west of Hawaii, continuing over open ocean and flying over the Pacific island nation of Kiribati on 19 October…
Read the whole story here.