Birds are known to make long migratory flights during seasonal changes. On these journeys, thousands of kilometers are covered. It has been possible to record the distances these birds travel. But this year all records were broken. The longest non-stop flight of a bird traveled a distance never before recorded.
What bird accomplished this feat? It was a Colipinta godwit. It was documented as the longest by a bird on record. What was the distance traveled? It was 13,560 kilometers from Alaska to the island of Tasmania in Australia.
That distance is 2,000 kilometers longer than the epic journey of another specimen of the same species. This other traveler was named E7. In 2007 he covered from Alaska to New Zealand a journey of more than 11,500 kilometers. He completed the journey in 11 days. It was a world record. The information was obtained through a small satellite transmitter attached to the bird’s back. This was reported by Birdlife Australia in a press release.
The new record-breaking non-stop flight was also completed in just 11 days. In fact, according to information recorded on the transmitter it carried, this bird had ample opportunity to stop for food. There was room to rest on several tropical islands as it flew across the Pacific Ocean. However, it chose to keep flapping.
It happens with most migratory shorebirds in Australia. Columbian godwits migrate annually between their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. They are usually found in the tundra of Siberia or Alaska. From there they travel to their non-breeding grounds in Australia and New Zealand.
The total cumulative distance flown over its lifetime by a colypine godwit is enormous. Its annual migration between Australasia and the northern hemisphere adds up to many thousands of kilometers. So much so, that it would be equivalent to the distance of flying to the Moon and back.