The bar-tailed godwit, a plump shore bird, has blown the record for
nonstop, muscle-powered flight right out of the sky. A study being
published today reports that godwits can fly up to 7,242 miles nonstop
in their annual fall migration from Alaska to New Zealand. The previous
record, set by eastern curlews, was 4,000 miles from eastern Australia
to China. The godwits flew for five to nine days, tracked by satellite.
The birds weigh no more than 1.5 pounds when they leave. Half of that
is fat, which they burn off completely during the flight. The route
they take is the shortest and safest to fly. — The Washington Post.