It’s a long-haul flight to nearly everywhere from New Zealand. Often you crawl off the plane with a sense of achievement for merely surviving the flight. Spare a thought for the little Godwit “E7” who is about to complete a 30,000km round trip from New Zealand to Alaska.
There have been many theories, and a few myths, about the flight of the Godwit. Many remember it as the symbol for our domestic airline – National Airways Corp – (before it was merged with Air New Zealand) and from popular children’s books.
Satellite tracking and Google Earth combine to enable anyone to see the E7’s track. Many birds were tracked to Alaska, via China, but only E7’s transmitter has lasted long enough to record the remarkable 11,500km journey home direct across the Pacific. Hopefully E7 is here by now and having a good rest.
Makes 14 hours sitting, eating, sleeping, watching movies in a 747 seem rather trivial…
Godwit expected in NZ safe today - Christchurch News - The Press
A feathered harbinger of spring was expected to land safely in New Zealand last night. The 30,000km round trip of the Godwit from New Zealand to Alaska and back again has been tracked by satellite for the first time…
Photo Credit N. Warnock
Bar-tailed Godwit E7 returns after a marathon flight - Asia-Pacific Shorebird Network
E7 – a female Bar-tailed Godwit fitted with a satellite transmitter at Miranda, Firth of Thames in New Zealand on 6th February returned to the place of tagging on the evening of Friday 7 September (local time) after a logged flight of 29,181 km (about 500 hours of flying). During that time she flew to the Yellow Sea, where she stayed for five weeks before flying to Alaska to breed, then flew 11,570 km back to her regular non-breeding site in New Zealand in about 8 days 12 hours.