We have to start with distance. The distance from northern Alaska to New Zealand. Give or take, it is about 11,500 km or 7,144 miles. One way. Mostly over water. The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on the planet. Now, let us tell you about Bar-tailed Godwit number E7. And aren’t bird names wonderful?
E7 is a full grown female Bar-tailed Godwit which means she is about 37 cm or 14 inches long, from beak tip to tail, with a wing span of about 25cm(10 inches). A week ago she weighed about 700 grams(About a pound and a half). Today she probably weighs about 200 grams(Under half a pound). She lost two-thirds of her body weight in a week. She has a satellite transponder which is why we know that this year alone she flew 26,500 km. That is 16,500 miles. This last week she flew – non-stop – 11,500 km. which is 7,144 miles. Did we say she did it non-stop? She did. She flew for a week, night and day, day and night without stopping once and she flew more than 7000 miles. In a week. Without stopping once.
We don’t make this stuff up. You can read about Bar-tailed Godwit E7 at today’s BBC web site. We’ll have more to say about E7 in our migration series which began yesterday. You can track Ms. E7 for yourself at this web site. It is a USGS bird satellite tracking website which we are adding to the blogroll at the right.
Did we mention that she flew 7,000 miles in a week, non-stop?