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This is astonishing:

[B]ar-tailed godwits are a type of migratory bird.  They weigh, on average, about a pound, give or take half a pound, and eat and rest only on land.  The birds are native to Australia but breed in the Northern Hemisphere — primarily in Alaska, Scandinavia, and northern Asia.  But note that the trip from Australia to Alaska is, almost entirely, over the Pacific Ocean, without any land of which to speak.  This fact highlights a peculiarity of the bar-tailed godwit: it can travel extreme distances — thousand of miles at a time — without stopping for food, rest, or even sleep.

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In February of 2007, researchers in New Zealand, working with the United States Geological Service’s (USGS) Alaska Science Center, captured 16 bar-tailed godwits and outfitted them with satellite tags. The birds were set free, now able to be tracked by the USGS scientists. One of the birds, named “E7” (due to its tracking code), was tracked migrating up to Alaska via China. The first leg of the flight, according to the BBC, was a record 6,340 mile trek. The second leg was a similarly impressive 3,000 mile trans-Pacific flight to Alaska. But E7 wasn’t done yet. On her return-trip to New Zealand, she skipped the China stop-over, and, as denoted by the red line on the right, below, went direct — an eight-day trip of approximately 7,250 miles. That’s two and a half times the distance of New York to Los Angeles or nearly four times the distance between Paris and Moscow.

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