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The common godwit has to turn around after a 2000 kilometer flight

2021-09-20T08:45:29.490Z

The wind was just too strong: on its way from Alaska to New Zealand, a common godwit had to turn back. The bird was on the move for 57 hours without a break - and completely in vain.



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Common woodcock are migratory birds and can travel great distances.

Photo: Ross Armstrong / imago images

A common godwit from Alaska had to break off her trip to New Zealand and turned back after a 2000 kilometer flight.

This was reported by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

The bird wears a radio transmitter on its leg, which the authorities can use to track its movement.

According to the data, the common woodcock male had started in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska in the direction of the South Pacific.

After a distance of around 2000 kilometers and around 33 hours of flight, the adult bird encountered such strong winds that it had to turn around.

After a 57-hour non-stop flight, he landed back in Alaska.

The first common godwit to turn around due to bad weather

This behavior is very unusual for a woodcock, said zoology professor Phil Battley of New Zealand's Massey University.

"Over the years we've tracked about 70 bogwarts that left Alaska, and this is the first we know of had to turn back because of bad weather."

Other birds of this type, which set out in Alaska around the same time and were also monitored by transmitters, would have been more lucky: They would have made it to New Zealand in one go.

However, it cannot be ruled out that other bogwarts also had to turn back halfway.

Scientist Battley said what the bird would do next was particularly interesting: How long will it have to rest after its unsuccessful excursion?

Will he still make it all the way to New Zealand?

The researcher was confident about this: “He certainly hasn't used up all of his energy.

He noticed that he was facing a headwind and thought it was not a good start for a ten-day flight. "

The bird was already unlucky the year before

Incidentally, it is not the first time that the weather has thwarted this bird's plans.

The same snipe had to struggle with strong winds last year and landed for a month in New Caledonia in the South Seas.

Battley said, "Anyone who has had the same problem for two years in a row can be described as unlucky."

Common woodcock, called »Kuaka« in New Zealand, are migratory birds and can cover astonishing distances: from Alaska to New Zealand it is around 11,000 kilometers.

This makes the common woodcock's journey, which normally goes without a break, one of the longest in the bird world.

vki / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-09-20

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