Godwit

 

 

 

“WELCOME HOME 4BYWW:
Bar-tailed Godwit 4BYWW reported in from Pūkorokoro Miranda at 07:51 this morning. Made it in one non-stop flight which lasted about 8 days 12 hours. She was off North Cape around 21:00 yesterday and looks to have flown overland from Northland rather than following the coast. She probably arrived sometime after 03:00 this morning and although the exact distance flown is difficult to determine it looks like she flew at least 12,200km giving her an average speed of 59kph.”

How amazing!

If humans were allowed one inter-species super power, my choice would be Sleeping on the wing

“Wakefulness enables animals to interface adaptively with the environment. Paradoxically, in insects to humans, the efficacy of wakefulness depends on daily sleep, a mysterious, usually quiescent state of reduced environmental awareness. However, several birds fly non-stop for days, weeks or months without landing, questioning whether and how they sleep. It is commonly assumed that such birds sleep with one cerebral hemisphere at a time (i.e. unihemispherically) and with only the corresponding eye closed, as observed in swimming dolphins. However, the discovery that birds on land can perform adaptively despite sleeping very little raised the possibility that birds forgo sleep during long flights. In the first study to measure the brain state of birds during long flights, great frigatebirds (Fregata minor) slept, but only during soaring and gliding flight. Although sleep was more unihemispheric in flight than on land, sleep also occurred with both brain hemispheres, indicating that having at least one hemisphere awake is not required to maintain the aerodynamic control of flight

 

Also: “no animal can get by for very long without sleep. And nobody has managed to explain why this is the case”

 

Also: Ralph Hotere: Godwit/Kuaka

 

 

 

 

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