Something to make you smile

A bar-tailed Godwit that's just touched down on the Firth of Thames has been confimed as having made the longest flight by a landbird ever recorded. The female, called 4BYWW, travelled non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand, a journey 12,200 kilometres that took 8 days and 12 hours at an average speed of 59 kilometres per hour. Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre manager Keith Woodley has been monitoring the birds' migration and told our producer Matthew Theunissen about the latest remarkable feat.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/first-up/audio/2018814082/fema...

https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/return-of-the-godwit/

I think she deserves a better name. Any ideas?

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Sojourner Bird.

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janis b's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp @on the cusp

Your name 'Sojourner' is perfectly appropriate. Thank you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojourner_Truth

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@janis b Things are tense around these parts. It is nice to be distracted and inspired. If a bird can make it, so can I...

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janis b's picture

@on the cusp

as long as the bird inside is alive ; )

Cheers

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mimi's picture

@janis b
made me smile and humble. What a lady. Gives hope that we all can make it. We should make it without bombs, without wars and with much love for each other.

One can dream.

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mimi

janis b's picture

@mimi

Thank you for enhancing the amazing feats with your sentiments.

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The Godwit is a most remarkable example of the phenomenal competence of the natural world, something most would walk past without a thought. Likewise the Ruby Throated Hummingbird, many of which take a southern migration route across the Gulf of Mexico, also non-stop.

If we spent as much time contemplating the remarkable adaptations of all life forms to their environment as many now give to their cell phone screens, we might pause to consider how we each might benefit by a more harmonious and direct connection to the natural world.

Thank you Janis for sharing such a remarkable slice of our natural world!

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“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” - Gen. George S. Patton

“Without a diversity of opinions, the discovery of truth is impossible.” - Alexander von Humboldt

dystopian's picture

@ovals49 Hi O49. Yep, that lack of connection to the natural world is a major perception problem in our society. Everything is about the artificial man-made world. It doesn't end well. Smile

There has been some new thinking on the southbound fall migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It seems many are trans-Gulf migrants and do cross the Gulf of Mexico in spring northbound (when winds favorable - southerly- for that). But in fall they are more circum-Gulf migrants (southerlies a drag if trying to go south). Rockport TX on the central TX Gulf coast until a recent Hurricane a couple years ago had spectacular Sept. hummer festival, tens of thousands of them in the area.

Sherri Williamson posted about it last year:
http://fieldguidetohummingbirds.com/fall-migration-ruby-throated/

The southbound trans-gulf flight is probably not really a thing for almost all of the population, despite even us birders being taught it was the last 60 years. But hey, it was better than them riding the backs of geese as the hundred years prior anyway! Wink

best,

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@dystopian
I had a regular visitor at my outdoor shower that began ten or fifteen years ago. I am sure that same individual bird reappeared each year to share my shower time over the next several years. Same approach behavior; landing at nearby perch to watch for a moment, then hovering in front of my face for a moment, and then either dropping to the wet bluestone for a belly rub or hopping into a water filled nearby leaf for a soak. They are very much creatures of habit!

Many years later, long past a normal hummingbird lifespan, there was another visitor with similar behaviors that made me wonder if there might be imprinting left on one of the descendents of the original bird.

There are so many remarkable things to things to wonder about.

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“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” - Gen. George S. Patton

“Without a diversity of opinions, the discovery of truth is impossible.” - Alexander von Humboldt

dystopian's picture

@ovals49 wow O49, very cool about one showering... sometimes one will come into a sprinkler or even a sprayed hose when it is real hot out. For a long time it was believed they did not bathe in baths. Vids of a bathful of them on youtube now. But is rare. Most hummingbirds life span is in the 5-7 year range. However, a few are known to reach 10-11 years old. Considering most songbirds are 3-5 years, for something with a hyper metabolic rate, their lifespan is impressive. One Rufous Hummingbird was banded in Houston area, recaught and band number verified in Juneau, Kodiak or Anchorage Alaska, and then recaught the next winter in HOU again. Some along the gulf coast winter at the same feeders for years. Banded birds so they know how old they are. Old. Whaddabird!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@ovals49

on the soul of nature. Thank you.

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Paul McCartney already wrote a song about her!

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"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

dystopian's picture

Hi Janis, Quite the flight, eh? It was a couple years ago they got the first satellite track on 10 day non-stop flight by one. There are a lot of birds that make amazing migration flights. Bar-tailed Godwit is about 16" and 12 oz. That breeding plumage is beautiful! All the rufous is replaced by whitish below for the winter. They are only rufous a few months of the year. I have never seen that beautiful breeding plumage. A few vagrants occur mostly in CA every fall, mostly juveniles, which are like winter adults, checkered above, whitish below, with no brown or rufous. They are likely blown off course by Pacific systems. In Godwits as most shorebirds (and raptors), females are larger than males, about 17% or so for Bar-tailed I think.

A Sanderling, which is the little whitish sandpiper that runs back and forth right in front of the waves, flew Bay of Funday Nova Scotia to west coast of Africa in 3 days. One of the little sandpipers that did this lost 50% of its body weight in the 3 day flight. That is why migration stopover refuel sites are as critical as breeding or winter grounds. Blackpoll warblers (1/2 oz.) leave the NE North America and head SE out over the Atlantic and then pick up trade winds to take them SW to South America, in one single flight of a couple days.

Thanks for sharing the good bird news!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

janis b's picture

@dystopian

resilience and grace in such abundance in such a delicate thing. Thank you always for keeping the joy of nature alive.

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enhydra lutris's picture

flight are fantastic. We do get a Godwit here in Ca, the marbled Godwit, but it doesn't get that awesome rufous belly and only migrates down from South Central Canada.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

janis b's picture

I just realised going back to the source that it's actually a photo from Norway.

https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/batgod/cur/introduction

This is a photo from NZ -


https://www.eaaflyway.net/the-incredible-godwit-migration/

Do your CA godwits continue down south?

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