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Bird’s 13,000-km, non-stop flight may be record-breaking | CBC News

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A younger bar-tailed godwit seems to have set a continuous distance file for migratory birds by flying at the very least 13,560 kilometres 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 observe 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 Yukon-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 knowledge from Germany’s Max Planck 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 Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre exhibits.

Could have been misplaced

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 immediately west for Tasmania, Australia’s most southerly state. The satellite tv for pc path confirmed it coated 13,560 kilometres with out stopping.

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

Guinness World Information lists the longest recorded migration by a hen with out stopping for meals or relaxation as 12,200 kilometres, which was coated 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 International Flyway Community.

The identical hen broke its personal file with a 13,000-kilometre flight on its subsequent migration final 12 months, researchers say. However Guinness has but to acknowledge that feat.

Flight leaves scientists with questions

Woehler stated researchers didn’t know whether or not the newest 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 do not know the way consultant or in any other case this occasion is,” Woehler stated.

“It could be that half the birds that do the migration from Alaska come to Tasmania immediately fairly than by way of New Zealand or it may be one per cent, or it may be that that is the primary it is ever occurred.”

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

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

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