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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How Far Birds Migrate

Northern Wheatear Bird (Oenanthe oenanthe). (Picture from: http://naturalhistorywanderings.com/)
Northern wheatear bird (Oenanthe oenanthe) is one of the birds that migrate the farthest in the world. Within a year, these birds fly as far as go-back three-quarters of the circumference of the earth.

Study the migration distance using a GPS device that weighs 1.2 grams mounted at the foot of a bird. 46 researchers spread in the two groups of birds that live in different areas, namely on Baffin Island in northeastern Canada and Eagle Peak in Alaska.

Both groups were routed differently. The group chose Baffin Island and the Atlantic Ocean route landed in England. From here, the flight continued towards the ultimate goal, Mauritania. This flight distance reached 3,500 kilometers.

Alaska group to choose a longer path, flying through the Bering Strait and landed straight in Siberia, the Arabian Desert, Sudan, and ended up in Kenya. Total mileage is reached 14,500 kilometers. Thus, round-trip distance of the bird reaches 29 thousand kilometers.

"We have underestimated the ability of the flying bird," said bird expert from the Institute of Avian Research, Germany, Heiko Schmaljohann.

Flight across the Atlantic to save no less interesting facts. Overnight, this bird could fly as far as 850 miles without stopping. This bird is estimated to be assisted by the wind that reached 75 miles per hour.

The long distance means a lot of energy. Therefore, the researchers estimated the birds save energy by raising the weight until doubled. This energy is often used when moving through the vast and savage landscape, such as Pasific Ocean and the Sahara Desert.
Wide-winged and long-lived, albatrosses are rarely seen on land, preferring to stay out on the ocean except to mate and raise their young. (Picture from: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/)
Every year, Arctic tern flies from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again, a distance of 40,000 kms in just 90 days. In its lifetime, the distance the tern flies is equal to traveling to the moon and back. (Picture from: http://incredible-blogs.blogspot.com/)
Another bird with the longest migration is albatross and arctic tern. Both of these birds can fly up to 80 thousand kilometers in a year or two times around the earth. Researchers assessed these birds can fly farther in one year. "But the size of the Earth limits the distance of their migration," said Schmaljohann. *** [LIVESCIENCE | ANTON WILLIAM | KORAN TEMPO 3799] 
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