A DC Birding Blog (Dendroica) – How Far Can a Bird Fly Nonstop During Migration?
Recent studies using satellite telemetry or geolocators have shown that some bird species are capable of very long nonstop flight during migration, far longer than previously thought. Some of the longest belong to Bar-tailed Godwits, which have been tracked performing nonstop flights of over 11,000 km (or about 7,000 miles). Ruddy Turnstones perform similarly impressive flights. A new study in PLoS Biology tries to measure whether there are any limits to nonstop flights.
It’s a very topical subject for my migrations-themed blog, and even moreso as it is World Migratory Bird Day. While the emphasis this year is on migratory birds in crisis, I thought it appropriate to link to John’s summary of a very interesting article about the scientific study of bird migration. Read and learn, all that ye may.
Hedenström, A. (2010). Extreme Endurance Migration: What Is the Limit to Non-Stop Flight? PLoS Biology, 8 (5) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000362