Young godwit sets new flight record


A young Bar-tailed Godwit has smashed the record for length of a non-stop flight in the species.

Travelling an astonishing 13,560 km in just over 11 days, the five-month-old godwit departed Alaska on 13 October and touched down at Ansons Bay in north-east Tasmania on 24th.

A juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit has flown more than 13,500 km between Alaska and Tasmania (Glyn Sellors).

The juvenile godwit's route took it over numerous islands in Oceania, including Vanuatu and New Caledonia, where it appears to have shunned the opportunity to stop off and refuel, instead continuing straight to Tasmania.

The exploits of this individual easily surpass the previous highs set by male '4BBRW', which flew 12,854 km from Alaska to New Zealand in 2020 and then broke its own record in 2021, travelling 13,050 km on the same route.

This is the first time a tagged Bar-tailed Godwit has been recorded migrating between Alaska and Tasmania, although the species is regular there in the northern winter and such long flights are probably completed each year by many individual godwits.