Blog Viewing Suggestions

This Blog is best viewed at Screen Resolution (1366 X 768) for your Lap Top or at (1024 X 768) for your PC.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Godwit E-7 Returns: First Sign Of Spring In New Zealand

E-7 Being Fitted For A Satellite Transmission Tracking Device
For Her Long Migratory Journey

A New Zealand Bar-Tailed Godwit

Another New Zealand Godwit

Godwits In Flight

Now whether we would like to call her Elissa the Elusive, or Enid the Enigma, birdlife researchers from Massey University in New Zealand actually have labeled her (1st photo) E-7. E-7 along with several other New Zealand Godwits also known as Kuakas, were fitted with tracking devices in the early part of the year to track their migratory journey to Alaska and back to New Zealand. E-7 arrived back to Miranda, New Zealand at 3 am on Sunday. The incredible thing about her long journey was that she made a remarkable record and had travelled 11,500 miles one way non-stop. Her long and tedious non-stop migratory journey has broken all record making history for migratory birds. This must have been an unbelievable feat for her. The return of the Godwits is always considered the first sign of Spring in New Zealand.

I first heard the news as I was washing dishes listening to the radio the other night, I thought it was all just so exciting that I had to do some reasearch on this awe-inspiring bird.

HERE is a short radio broadcast replay on New Zealand National Radio for you to hear a little bit more about E-7's return to New Zealand last Sunday.

The satellite tracking of the Godwits can be viewed online HERE

Massey University Article of the Godwits HERE.

Birdlife International

Wikipedia: Bar-Tailed Godwits

Video: Bar-Tailed Godwits


Godwit E7 returns from Alaska, non-stop, to the Thames MudflatsBy NZPA28 views

A bar-tailed godwit -- known to researchers as E7 -- is now back on her favourite mudflat on the Firth of Thames after a round trip of nearly 30,000km to Alaska and back.
E7 is the first godwit to have her full annual migration monitored by satellite. It included a southern return leg of more than 11,500km -- the longest non-stop flight by a bird to be recorded.
"From the speed that she was going, I'm absolutely confident that she came direct," said Massey ecologist Dr Phil Battley, who tagged 16 bar-tailed godwits to identify how they made their way to and from Alaska.
The south side of the Firth of Thames, near Miranda, was a muddy spot with difficult access, so it had not been possible to photograph the bird, which arrived l ate on Friday night.
Her transmitter switched itself on for six hours every 36 hours and on Friday afternoon she was south-west of Ninety Mile Beach in Northland. By 3am on Sunday morning she was back at Miranda where she is expected to stay " resting and refuelling" until about March, when she will make her way back to Alaska to lay eggs.
Dr Battley said E7 took off from the Yukon delta and could have shortened her journey by moving down to the Alaskan Peninsula to take off from about 500km further south.
"But she didn't do that," he said. "This indicates the long journey is not such a problem to her".
"It's quite amazing that even on a journey of 11,500km she's not trying to make it any shorter. She's got enough in reserve to cope.
Dr Battley is now awaiting the arrival of four other birds with transmitters still working.
Eight male birds fitted with backpack tracking devices have not been monitored because the devices appear to interfered with their flight or to have fallen off.
The transmitters on three of the eight birds, including E7, which had the devices surgically implanted also appear to have stopped working. Another female, tagged as Y3, spent the winter near Farewell Spit, and four others are still in Alaska.
Dr Battley's next project involves similar work with a sub-population of the bar-tailed godwit population in northwest Australia, allowing comparison of the migratory habits of the two populations.


What are you doing, all flocked on Reinga?
What is your hurry - the trees are all gold?
Sweeting, we gather because we must leave you.
April is cold; April is cold!
Oh! We shall miss you, my little kuaka;Where will you go then, my wild little one?
Over the sea to the country of Russia,Into the sun; into the sun.
We'll nest on the steppes and put on our red kirtles.
Teaching our scared little children to fly.
Then we stretch wing for the sea and the summer,Forth in July; forth in July.
Where will you be in the windy September?
Little kuaka, where will you be?
In China, the land of the iris and poppy, on a white tree; on a white tree.
Will you forget us, or will you remember? I shall remember, wherever I roam. Look for me, sweet, on the first of December I shall come home; I shall come home.

~ Eileen Duggan