Young Bird May Have Set Non-Stop Distance Record By Flying From Alaska To Australia

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A younger bar-tailed godwit seems to have set a continuous distance document for migratory birds by flying a minimum of 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) from Alaska to the Australian state of Tasmania, a hen skilled stated Friday.

The hen was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska throughout the Northern Hemisphere summer season with a monitoring GPS chip and tiny photo voltaic panel that enabled a world analysis group to comply with its first annual migration throughout the Pacific Ocean, Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler stated. As a result of the hen was so younger, its gender wasn’t identified.

Aged about 5 months, it left southwest Alaska on the Yuko-Kuskokwim Delta on Oct. 13 and touched down 11 days later at Ansons Bay on the island of Tasmania’s northeastern tip on Oct. 24, in response to information from Germany’s Max Plank Institute for Ornithology. The analysis has but to be printed or peer reviewed.

The hen began on a southwestern course towards Japan then turned southeast over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a map printed by New Zealand’s Pukoro Miranda Shorebird Middle exhibits.

The hen was once more monitoring southwest when it flew over or close to Kiribati and New Caledonia, then previous the Australian mainland earlier than turning instantly west for Tasmania, Australia’s most southerly state. The satellite tv for pc path confirmed it coated 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) with out stopping.

“Whether or not that is an accident, whether or not this hen obtained misplaced or whether or not that is a part of a standard sample of migration for the species, we nonetheless don’t know,” stated Woehler, who’s a part of the analysis mission.

Guinness World Data lists the longest recorded migration by a hen with out stopping for meals or relaxation as 12,200 km (7,580 miles) by a satellite-tagged male bar-tailed godwit flying from Alaska to New Zealand.

That flight was recorded in 2020 as a part of the identical decade-old analysis mission, which additionally entails China’s Fudan College, New Zealand’s Massey College and the World Flyway Community.

The identical hen broke its personal document with a 13,000-kilometer (8,100-mile) flight on its subsequent migration final 12 months, researchers say. However Guinness has but to acknowledge that feat.

Woehler stated researchers didn’t know whether or not the most recent hen, identified by its satellite tv for pc tag 234684, flew alone or as a part of a flock.

“There are so few birds which have been tagged, we don’t understand how consultant or in any other case this occasion is,” Woehler stated.

“It might be that half the birds that do the migration from Alaska come to Tasmania instantly relatively than by way of New Zealand or it is likely to be 1%, or it is likely to be that that is the primary it’s ever occurred,” he added.

Grownup birds depart Alaska sooner than juveniles, so the tagged hen was unlikely to have adopted extra skilled vacationers south, Woehler stated.

Woehler hopes to see the hen as soon as moist climate clears within the distant nook of Tasmania, the place it would fatten up having misplaced half its physique weight on its journey.

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