Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Birdblogging

The godwit of all time makes this a wonderful day to birdblog. Welcome home, little bartail E7.

A female Bar-tailed Godwit, a large, streamlined shorebird, has touched down in New Zealand following an epic, 18,000-mile-long (29,000 km) series of flights tracked by satellite, including the longest non-stop flight recorded for a land bird.

The U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center tracked the odyssey of the bird as part of an ongoing collaborative effort with colleagues in California and New Zealand. The scientists were hoping to better understand potential transmission of avian influenza by migratory birds.

The bird, dubbed "E7" after the tag on its upper leg, was captured along with 15 other godwits in New Zealand in early February 2007. There each bird was fitted with a small, battery-powered satellite transmitter. USGS scientists hoped the transmitters' batteries would last long enough to track the birds' northward migration to Alaska.

E for "extra"?



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