To where? Bird travels over 8000 miles non-stop

A bird expert said Friday that a young bar-tailed godwit set the non-stop distance record by flying 8,435 miles from Alaska to Tasmania.

The bird was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska with a tracking GPS chip and tiny solar panel that allowed a research team to track its flight, Birdlife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler told CBS News.

The bird left Southwest Alaska at the Yuko-Kuskokwin Delta on Oct. 13, starting on a southwestern course toward Japan.

It then turned southeast over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a map published by New Zealand’s Pukoro Miranda Shorebird Center shows.

It landed at Ansons Bay on Tasmania’s northeastern tip Oct. 24.

“Whether this is an accident, whether this bird got lost or whether this is part of a normal pattern of migration for the species, we still don’t know,” said Woehler, who is part of the research project.


NPR reported that Guinness World Records lists the longest recorded migration by a bird without stopping for food or rest as 7,580 miles by a satellite-tagged male bar-tailed godwit flying from Alaska to New Zealand.

However, the rarity of this feat is not quite known.

“There are so few birds that have been tagged, we don’t know how representative or otherwise this event is,” Woehler said.

“It may be that half the birds that do the migration from Alaska come to Tasmania directly rather than through New Zealand or it might be 1%, or it might be that this is the first it’s ever happened,” he added.

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