Young Bird May Have Set New Record by Flying Nonstop From Alaska to Tasmania

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by: David Tipling/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

One busy bird appears to have set an impressive distance record recently. Flying non-stop in an 8,435-mile flight taking the young bar-tailed godwit from Alaska to Australia. This news comes from bird experts tracking migratory birds and the distances they travel.

The Bar-Tailed Godwit Was Tagged With A GPS Tracking Chip And A Tiny Solar Panel As A Hatchling In Alaska

According to reports, the busy bird was tagged as a young hatchling in Alaska during the “Norther Hemisphere summer.” The bird was fitted with a GPS tracking chip as well as a tiny solar panel during this tagging. These enabled researchers to keep track of the animal on an international level. Research teams followed the bird’s first annual migration across the Pacific Ocean experts note. The young bar-tailed godwit is so young, scientists haven’t even pinpointed the bird’s gender yet.

Scientists note that the bird was aged about five months when it took off. The bird left the southwest area of Alaska at the Yuko-Kuskokwim Delta region in the middle of October. The bar-tailed godwit was then recorded to be touching down at Ansons Bay on the island of Tasmania just 11 days later. These notes have emerged from the data collected from the Max Plank Institute of Ornithology in Germany.

The Research Shows That The Young Bird Made The Journey Covering Over 8,000 Miles In One Non-Stop Flight

The bar-tailed godwit started its course traveling southwest off the Alaskan coast. The bird flew toward Japan before switching to a southeast path over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. These findings are based on the mapped-out route published by the Pukoro Miranda Shorebird Center in New Zealand.

Researchers were able to continue tracking the bird as it traveled in a southwest direction flying over Kiribati and New Caledonia. It then flew past the mainland of Australia before turning west, headed for Tasmania which sits on the southernmost end of Australia.

“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,” notes an expert studying the impressive trip.

Guinness World Record’s Longest Recorded Migration Came In 2020 When A Male Bar-Tailed Godwit Traveled Over 7,000 Miles

The Guinness World Record lists the longest recorded non-stop migration with the subject flying without rest or food to have taken place in 2020. This impressive feat was completed by a male bar-tailed godwit that traveled over 7,500 miles from Alaska to New Zealand.

This same bird later broke its own record flying 8,100 miles during another migration season. However, this record has not yet been acknowledged by Guinness.