Thursday, 29 September 2022

An Astonishing Migration

 

Sometimes Facebook pages can be exciting.  I have recently been watching the page for the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre as they record Bar Tailed Godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri) arriving back on the sandy shores of Kaiaua on the Thames Estuary (I visited here in May – read about it HERE).




Every year around March (autumn) these medium-sized waders migrate to western Alaska for the breeding season.  Several birds have been fitted with special tags that allow for satellite tracking of their flights, and they are now returning one by one to our shores.

On the flight over to Alaska the birds often stop at the Yellow Sea between China and Korea, but their flight back here is a direct 11,000 – 12,000 km flight with no stops along the way.

Their average flight speed is around 56 kilometres per hour, with juveniles making their first trip when barely four months old.

About 9.30pm last night, bird 4BWWB dropped unseen (and probably hungry and exhausted!) onto the Kaiaua mudflats after flying non-stop for over 12,100 kms – a trip of some 8 days and 14 hours.




This is the third season this bird has been followed on her migration.

I never cease to be astonished and amazed by the miraculous wonders of nature 😊

Margaret.


12 comments:

  1. It certainly is an amazing flight, Margaret - I am in awe of it
    Blessings
    Maxine

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  2. Wow. That is... wow. Those are Hercules birds! Even as babies.

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  3. It is amazing isn't it. I have been watching it but hadn't caught up on this latest bird.

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  4. Absolutely amazing! Those birds are incredible. They fly from one end of the world to the other to breed! Thank you for the info

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  5. I encourage everyone to learn about avian migration. They will be astounded!

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  6. Incredible. Mother Nature never fails to amaze me. With everything going on in this world, watching the flight path of a single bird makes me think about how insignificant we are in the overall scheme of things.

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  7. The beak is so long! Love the unique look.

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  8. 11 to 12,000 km flight. That's hard to fathom. Migration is surely one of the most impressive natural phenomena.

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  9. Astonished and amazed is right. It doesn't seem possible that a bird could fly that distance nonstop. One of natures many wonders!

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  10. What an amazing feat! That Godwit is in shape!

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  11. That is amazing and we have no idea why and we also have no idea how much little changes in every part of their routes affects them.

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Thank-you for visiting my blog. I love it when you leave a comment so please feel free to have your say. Have a great day! Margaret xx