Story: Bird migration

Migration route, Eastern bar-tailed godwits

Migration route, Eastern bar-tailed godwits

Eastern bar-tailed godwits that migrate to New Zealand from Alaska undertake the farthest non-stop flight of any bird. Instead of staying close to shores like most other waders, they fly over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with no chance to land, rest and refuel until they reach New Zealand. They fly continuously for eight to nine days and nights. For the return journey they take a much longer route around the western edge of the Pacific, with a stopover in the Yellow Sea on the way. This means they arrive back at their breeding grounds in Alaska in good condition for breeding.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: Adrian C. Riegen, ‘Movements of banded Arctic waters to and from New Zealand.’ Notornis 46, part 1 (March 1999): 123–142

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Bird migration - Preparation for the journey', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/map/7237/migration-route-eastern-bar-tailed-godwits (accessed 20 February 2020)

Story by Christina Troup, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015