Story: Wading birds
This map shows the migration route taken to and from New Zealand by eastern bar-tailed godwits. They leave from Alaska in the northern autumn, and until recently it was assumed they followed a coastal route southwards that would allow them to feed and rest along the way. But there is now conclusive evidence that most take the direct route south across the central Pacific to New Zealand. Unlike seabirds, they cannot rest on water or feed at sea, so this 11,000-kilometre journey is the longest non-stop flight undertaken by any bird. The return to Alaska is taken in stages so they arrive in good condition to breed in May.
Source: Adrian C. Riegen, ‘Movements of banded Arctic waders to and from New Zealand.’ Notornis 46, part 1 (March 1999): 123 –142
About this item
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.