First evidence of a 200-day non-stop flight in a bird

Figure 1 from Liechti et al (2013)

Migration routes and non-breeding range of three Alpine swifts breeding in Switzerland.

Really cool research on swifts in flight!

First evidence of a 200-day non-stop flight in a bird

“… for several decades ornithologists have claimed that some swifts may stay airborne for almost their whole lifetime. Here we present the first unequivocal evidence that an individual bird of the Alpine swift (Tachymarptis melba) can stay airborne for migration, foraging and roosting over a period of more than 6 months. To date, such long-lasting locomotive activities had been reported only for animals living in the sea. …”

Read about it in National Geographic…

Figure 4 from Liechti et al (2013)

Mean course of the relative flapping activity in relation to hours before and after sunset and sunrise. See Liechti et al. (2013) for details.

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