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Godwits - On Path

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  • AlaskaDenise
    started a topic Godwits - On Path

    Godwits - On Path

    (I have a special admiration for Bar-tailed Godwits - they look cool in flight and they travel 6000+ miles non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand - what a feat!)

    By MERVYN DYKES - Manawatu Standard | Friday, 30 March 2007

    People around the world can now tune in via satellite to follow the progress of 16 bar-tailed godwits making their return migration from New Zealand river estuaries to Alaska.



    Massey University scientists are keeping a close watch on the birds because of concern about declining populations and fears that some that stop over in Asia could contract the H5N1 bird-flu virus and transfer it to Alaska.

    Eight of the godwits have been fitted with backpack tracking devices and eight more have had devices surgically implanted.

    They can be followed on-line through http://www.werc.usgs.gov/sattrack/sh...s/overall.html

    Phil Battley, an ecologist at the Massey University's Palmerston North campus, said the tagging project would provide crucial information about the migratory behaviour of declining species.

    Throughout the East Asian and Australasian flyways, 85 percent of shorebird populations are declining, and 40 percent of shorebirds inhabiting Oceania are classified as threatened or near- threatened, he said.

    The 11,000km southern migration of the godwit from Alaska to New Zealand was thought to be the longest non-stop migration of any bird, but little was known about the northern route.

    Dr Battley is the leader of a New Zealand team involved in a collaborative research project with the United States Geological Survey and PRBO Conservation Science in the US to learn more about global migration patterns of declining shorebird species in the Pacific Basin.

    The 16 tagged birds were from the Firth of Thames and Golden Bay.

    Dr Battley said three of them had recently landed in the Yellow Sea, with one covering 11,000km in just over seven-and-a-half days at an average speed of 56kmh. "This probably qualifies as the longest migratory flight of its type measured in the world," he said. "Everything points to this bird having flown non- stop from New Zealand to China."

    The information gathered from the birds' flight will answer questions about their stops en route and their routes from New Zealand to Alaska.
    Dr Battley, who has been working on movements and demographics of godwits for the past three years, said the birds have a major stopover in the Yellow Sea region of eastern Asia. Other birds have stopped in Papua New Guinea, the southern Philippines and on an island in Micronesia. The rest are flying toward China or Korea.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/evening...1122a6502.html

  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On Path

    Godwits Return!

    Christchurch ornithologists and park rangers expect the godwits' return from August. This year, the godwits are slightly later than usual, possibly because of unfavourable wind patterns in Alaska.


    Video of Godwits feeding http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/7...mmer-residency

    Leave a comment:


  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On Path

    The Godwits have arrived
    Birdlife flocks to Estuary despite liquefaction fears

    Christchurch City Council ranger and ornithologist Andrew Crossland said a bird survey he undertook a week after the quake showed there were 36,000 birds on the Estuary and the surrounding wetlands, including the city's wastewater oxidation ponds.

    That was 5000 more birds than at the same time the previous year, he said.

    ..The arrival to the Estuary of bar-tailed godwits from Alaska, was marked yesterday by ringing the bells of St Paul's Anglican Church bells in Papanui. Christ Church Cathedral's bells had heralded the birds' arrival, but it was destroyed in February. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/new...efaction-fears

    Leave a comment:


  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On Path

    Typed in except from The Press, Christchurch

    David Hallett (photographer of the Godwits above) ... seagulls and ducks evident, but no wading birds. "The sand (from sand volcanoes during earthquakes) has killed off the food for waders. It's just smothered it, killing all snails and worms and things."

    Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust Chairman Martin Maguire "What we have been told is that it will affect the future of feeding of wading birds in the estuary for sometime, but what we don't know is by how much. Those sand mounds have covered a lot of the wildlife that would have been food for all the wading birds"

    Leave a comment:


  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    Christchurch Cathedral bells rang out at noon to mark the end of the world's longest migration.

    The first bar-tailed godwits to finish their more than 11,000km journey from Alaska have been spotted on Canterbury's Avon-Heathcote estuary.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/new...elcome-godwits

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  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    David Hallett wins Qantas media awards in the Canon Photograph (senior) category for this photo of 7 Godwits flying in formation over Southshore Spit, Christchurch.


    http://static.stuff.co.nz/1254952792/041/2944041.jpg

    http://www.qantasmediaawards2010.co....phy_senior.php

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  • gsgs
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    grow them in a lab,zoo

    Leave a comment:


  • kiwibird
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    Thats mean GS! - there aren't enough to spare anyway! They are ALL precious!

    Leave a comment:


  • gsgs
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    experimentally infect a few godwits with flu and examine whether
    they can spread it and transport it (over what distance ?)

    to the sorrow of a few godwits for the benefit of all godwithood
    (and other virus-suffering species)

    do they get mallard-index-flu or (also) poultry-gull-mammal-flu ?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    Farewell To The Godwits

    Monday, 1 March 2010, 10:41 am
    Press Release: Christchurch City Council <!--first blockquote gone!--> Farewell To The Godwits

    Christchurch’s iconic global travellers, the Bar-tailed godwits, will have their annual send-off at 5.30pm on Wednesday.

    The godwits, whose annual arrival is seen as the start of spring in Christchurch, hit the headlines in New Zealand and around the world in 2007 when one of the birds was tracked on a non-stop migration flight from Alaska to New Zealand, covering at least 11,680 km in just eight and a half days.

    Christchurch has made the godwits its own by designating them the harbingers of spring, and ensuring a safe environment for them at the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and other estuarine flats in the area. Godwits can only feed when the flats are exposed at low tide and they need secure places to roost when the tide is full.

    This year’s godwits farewell event will be on site at the Southshore Spit from 5.30pm on Wednesday 3 March (at the end of Rocking Horse Road - you can catch a Route 5 bus). Please no dogs. Council Rangers and members of the Ornithological Society will show visitors the godwits.

    Christchurch City Council rangers have reported increasing numbers of godwits at the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Brooklands Lagoon and the top end of Lyttelton Harbour, leading to the belief that the birds may have enjoyed good breeding success for the past few years.

    Godwit numbers peaked at 2110 on the Avon-Heathcote Estuary in December 2009, taking the annual totals to over 2000 for each of the past three years after lower numbers between 1994 and 2007. Godwits numbers at the other coastal wetlands also showed increases - 459 on Upper Lyttelton Harbour and 97 at Brooklands lagoon.

    Every year the Christ Church Cathedral bells peal for 30 minutes to announce the arrival of the visitors in September after their non-stop flight from Alaska and the Christchurch City Council rangers and the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust puts together a farewell event at the time of their departure.

    The scientific community, which deems godwits as a ‘Species of High Concern’, are anticipating a decline in numbers once coastal wetland reclamation projects and habitat destruction in Asia make an impact on the bird's survival during northward migration. The exact status of the bar-tailed godwit population worldwide is not known.

    Farewell to the godwits
    Southshore Spit
    5.30pm
    Wednesday 3 March

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1003/S00009.htm

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  • AlaskaDenise
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    East Asian/Australasian. They hit the major hub near Shanghai, then the godwits head to Alaska. see:

    Name:  1afefbc3ffffcc1e71ebdc9bd46ae677.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  36.7 KB

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/m7218enz.jpg

    .

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  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    What flyway take a Godwit to Shanghai?

    Godwit Banding at South Brighton Spit (edit Christchurch) WEDNESDAY 11th Nov ...There are about 1900 birds there, with one having a Chinese flag combo [Shanghai] and 2 having numbers in black on their orange flags, from victoria. Also one with a data-logger on her leg, which we are keen to catch, so it can be removed. http://www.birdsofchristchurch.co.nz/?p=1059

    Leave a comment:


  • AlaskaDenise
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    Amazing ..... that they have neough energy left to fly a perfect formation.

    What a bird!

    .

    Leave a comment:


  • Sally Furniss
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu


    photo David Hallett. Formation Flying: Godwits put on a show as they come into land at Christchurchś Southshore Spit, after their 11.500 km journey from Alaska

    Each year about 2000 Godwits migrate to Christchurch from Alaska


    Energy savings

    Birds have developed a variety of ways to reduce the amount of energy they need for flight. Some species fly in formation, which reduces expended energy by around 20&#37;. Non-gliders can increase their speed by flying at altitudes of around 1,500 metres, in air that is less dense than at sea level. Many seabirds glide and use wind and wave pressure for ‘dynamic soaring’. This needs much less energy than flapping their wings. Soaring on rising thermals is possible for birds crossing hot continents, and many birds also make good use of tail winds to reduce the amount of energy and time.
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/bird-migration/5

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  • AlaskaDenise
    replied
    Re: Godwits - On the Path of Bird Flu

    Here's good map from NZ:

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/files/m7237enz.jpg

    .

    Leave a comment:

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