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Record-Breaking Bird Just Flew Nonstop From Alaska to New Zealand

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A bar-tailed godwit in Australia.

A bar-tailed godwit in Australia.
Image: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia

A conservation group has tracked a migration for the ages, in which a male bar-tailed godwit flew from Alaska to New Zealand without taking a single break.

As the Guardian reports, the bar-tailed godwit departed southwestern Alaska on September 16 and arrived 11 days later at a bay near Auckland, New Zealand. The bird, designated 4BBRW (for the blue, blue, red, and white identification rings attached to its legs), was tracked by Global Flyway Network, a conservation group that studies long-distance migrating shorebirds.

Bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica) are exceptional birds, featuring some mind-bogglingly long migratory routes. The wading birds spend their summers in the arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere (where they breed) and then fly south for the winter, in some cases as far as Australia and New Zealand. Bar-tailed godwits are fast and lightweight, with wingspans around 28 to 31 inches (70 to 80 cm) long.

Bar-tailed godwits looking to relocate from Alaska to New Zealand must make an epic flight over the Pacific Ocean. For 4BBRW, this resulted in a record-breaking nonstop flight, in which the bird flew 7,987 miles (12,854 km), reports the Guardian. The bird was equipped with a 5gm satellite tag, which allowed for GPS tracking. The scientists said the total length of the journey is probably closer to 7,581 miles (12,200 km) after accounting for rounding errors.

The previous nonstop flight record belongs to a female bar-tailed godwit, who flew 7,257 miles (11,680 km) during a similar journey in 2007. Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea) travel more than 50,000 miles (80,000 km) each year, so they deserve mention as having the longest migratory routes of any bird (or any animal for that matter), though they make lots of stops

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Pogoy’s career-high 45 leads TNT past Alaska

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Talk about starting the PBA bubble off with a bang.

Roger Pogoy and Jayson Castro turned in big-time performances for an undermanned TNT side that escaped Alaska 100-95 for the first win of the 2020 Philippine Cup restart Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation gym in Pampanga.

Pogoy wasted no time putting on a show by firing a career-high 45 points built around 10 triples before ceding the spotlight in the final minutes to Jayson Castro (28 points), whose heroics late in the game helped the Tropang Giga complete a comeback from 17 down against the Aces.

The duo were the only players to score in double figures for TNT, which dealt with the exit of the debuting Poy Erram, who was ejected late in the third quarter, and Troy Rosario, who fouled out after just 23 minutes. Ray Parks also missed the season opener with a calf strain.

“We’re lucky we won this game. We barely survived this game,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena after the game.

TNT’s offense fired blanks in the first quarter and made only five of 20 shots before letting Alaska take a 32-15 lead early in the second frame.

In search of answers, the Tropang Giga found one in the form of a red-hot Pogoy.

After going scoreless in the first 12 minutes, Pogoy exploded for 21 points on 5-for-9 threes in the following period. That included eight straight to give TNT