14 Oct 2019

I Didn't Know That: How do some birds fly for days non-stop?

From Lately, 10:45 pm on 14 October 2019

Bartailed godwits fly 29-thousand kilometres a year between their Christchurch feeding grounds to breed in the Arctic tundra - the longest known non-stop migration for any bird.

Arctic terns also travel massive distances and swifts spend 80 percent of their lives on the wing - even sleeping airborne.

In our occasional series, I Didn't Know That, Massey University's School of Agriculture associate professor,  Phil Battley is a expert in long-distance migration and explains how they do it.