Thursday, September 27, 2007


I found this in the paper the other day. Unbelieveable.

U.S. scientists tracked a shorebird as it made a record 7,145-mile flight from Alaska to New Zealand without stopping for food or water.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center says its observations confirm the godwit made the longest nonstop flight ever recorded for a land bird.

The bird, dubbed “E7,” was one of 16 godwits captured by researchers in early February in New Zealand. All were fitted with GPS and a small battery-powered satellite transmitter to track their migration.

E7 left northern New Zealand on March 17, flying 6,300 miles nonstop to China. After resting for five weeks, it then traveled on to a summer nesting area in western Alaska.
The bird began its record-setting flight back to New Zealand on Aug. 29, flying past Hawaii, Fiji and other remote islands of the Pacific before arriving on Sept. 7 just east of where she had been captured seven months earlier.

During those nine days, the bird “slept” by shutting down one side of her brain at a time, researchers said. They added that the exertion needed for the epic flight burned more than 50 percent of E7’s body weight.


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