Double Your Ark Encounter Donation Impact

Bird Sets Nonstop Flight Record at 7,257 miles

on October 25, 2008

MSNBC/Discovery: “Bird Sets Record with 7,257-Mile Nonstop Flight” Boeings and Airbuses of the world, step aside: there’s a newly recognized king (or, in this case, queen) of the long-haul flight.

The bar-tailed godwit, a migratory bird, has set the record for the longest known nonstop bird flight, reports Discovery on research by the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists tracked a female named E7 as it flew nonstop for 7,257 miles (11,679 km) from western Alaska to New Zealand, nearly double the previous bird-flight record—a still-astonishing 4,038 miles (6,499 km).

Bar-tailed godwits use forward flapping for flight and “seldom” glide.

What’s more, the bird probably didn’t even glide. Bar-tailed godwits use forward flapping for flight and “seldom” glide, according to Robert Gill, Jr., lead author of the study.

E7 was just one of several godwits tracked by transmitter as they made the long migration, a journey lasting between 5 and 10 days. Before the godwits set out on their long flight, they “tank up” on fuel—food such as tiny clams, in their case. The godwits also take advantage of tailwinds as much as possible, of course.

According to Rob Schuckard of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand, the human feat equivalent to the godwit’s journey would be sprinting at 43.5 miles per hour (70 km/h) for a week straight without resting. Any volunteers?

The study authors, writing in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, conclude that oceans, mountains, deserts, and other geographic barriers may not be the impasses they were once considered for migrating animals.

As for the humble godwit, its incredible journey and endurance is a fantastic testimony to the Creator’s design in the animal kingdom.

For more information:

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.

(Please note that links will take you directly to the source. Answers in Genesis is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.)


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

See All Lists

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390