Sunday, November 28

Eastern Bar-tailed Godwits arriving in New Zealand after a marathon flight from Alaska

Bar-tailed bugs from the east are arriving in New Zealand, after flying more than 10,000 kilometers nonstop from Alaska to reach our shores.

Bar-tailed bugs from the east are coming to New Zealand.

Chinitos with the tail of the eastern bar are arriving at the Motueka beach.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

Thousands of birds have reached the top of the South Island, and the inhabitants of Nelson celebrate their arrival.

Gathered at the Motueka sand pit near high tide Tuesday, more than a thousand harriers were resting, their beaks tucked between their wings as they recovered from their long journey.

On the other side of Nelson, the cathedral bells ring throughout the city to celebrate the arrival of the birds.

Dean Graham O’Brien said the borders might be closed, but it was wonderful to be able to welcome the birds home.

Bar-tailed gods of the east in the Motueka sandbank.

Bar-tailed gods of the east in the Motueka sandbank.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

“For us, it is a reminder that we are heading into spring, the season of new life and celebrating the wonder of God’s creation with these birds, literally flying around the world to be with us during the summer.”

The cathedral staff read a prayer, Benedicite Aotearoa, who gave thanks for the kiwi, the sparrow, the tūī, and the hawk, and also added the divine to the verse.

Every year, thousands of bar-tailed lovebirds make the marathon journey back to their foraging grounds along the New Zealand coast.

Birds New Zealand Nelson regional representative Paul Griffiths said the mills that made it to the sandbank were a wonderful sight.

Birds New Zealand Regional Representative Nelson Paul Griffiths

Paul Griffiths, Regional Representative for Birds New Zealand Nelson.
Photo: RNZ / Samantha Gee

“I think they are resting a little on the beach, they have come on vacation, they have flown for 12 days without stopping, which can scold them for a good rest on Motueka beach.”

The morons have tagged dotterels, Caspian terns and oystercatchers for company in the sand.

They were also joined by the reddish pillars, wading birds that also make the long journey from their arctic breeding grounds to the shores of New Zealand, but stop along the way.

Ornithologist David Melville said the number of bed bugs in Nelson Haven and the Motueka Sands was increasing steadily as more birds arrived from Alaska.

“I think it’s important that we welcome bed bugs home because they are actually New Zealand birds that we lend to the rest of the planet, spending more time in New Zealand over the course of a year than anywhere else.”

The birds were “completely wrecked” after their trip, he said.

“Several of them have been seen with their wings down a bit and this is what happens when the birds have been flying 12,000km and eight or nine days and nights flying continuously, by the time they get here they are quite exhausted, to say the least. “.

Melville said there are currently airborne bed bugs that are being tracked with satellite tags after they have left Alaska.

Each season provided an opportunity to learn something new about migratory birds.

“We also have some young birds in the air for the first time so they are just over two years old now, we really didn’t expect a lot of them to migrate this year, but we ended up with quite a few went up to China and Korea, several then went up to Russia and wandered there for a few weeks before crossing into Alaska. “

The goddesses will spend the next few months in New Zealand, molting to replace their flight feathers, resting and feeding to fatten up for their flight back to Alaska in March.

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