Here at the Shorebird Centre we’ve been feeling very popular lately. That’s all thanks to a certain Pūkorokoro-Miranda resident whose flying prowess has garnered us a lot of media attention over the last few weeks.
4BBRW, our newly world famous godwit, has recently recorded the longest ever flight by a land bird. He has flown over twelve thousand kilometres non stop, departing Alaska on September 18th and touching down on the mudflats here at Pūkorokoro on September 27th to much fanfare – especially amongst PMNT members and our enthusiastic Facebook followers.
While 4BBRW has been busy recuperating – as you can see above he was looking pretty skinny when he arrived – we’ve been busy responding to interview requests, and fact checking articles from media outlets around the world including RNZ, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, BBC World, and even the Guinness Book of World Records.
Our ability to follow 4BBRW’s journey comes as a result of a combined project by Massey University, Global Flyway Network, Max Planck Institute, Birds Canada, and the NZ Wader Studies Group. Back in late 2019 we banded twenty godwits at Pūkorokoro and fitted them with tracking devices. Their movements have been recorded ever since, adding valuable data to our understanding of the godwit’s migration. Hopefully their solar powered trackers will continue to function for at least a couple more years, allowing us to watch the godwits on multiple trips across the globe . You can check out the movements of godwits within the East Asian – Australasian Flyway here.