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How Long Can Birds Fly without Stopping?

Some migratory birds can fly non-stop for very long distances. Some birds are even able to cross oceans without stopping as they migrate. The record for the longest distance flown by birds without stopping belongs to bar-tailed godwits. These birds can fly 7,000 miles (11,265 km) without stopping to rest or eat.

Every autumn, the bar-tailed godwits travel non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand. Previously, the record for non-stop bird flights was believed to be about 3,100 miles (5,000 km). The discovery about the distance flown non-stop by bar-tailed godwits broke this record and is an extraordinary example of endurance in birds.

More about migratory birds:

  • About 40% of all birds in the world migrate.

  • Migratory birds experience hyperphagia before migration; they eat far more than usual and store fat to last through their journey.

  • Penguins can't fly, but they do migrate, by swimming.

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