Monday Morning Wake-Up Call. (If you think your commute is too long…)

If you think your commute is too long, be glad you’re not a godwit.Each year around this time, tens of thousands of bar-tailed godwits migrate from Alaska to New Zealand and Australia. The 7,000-mile journey — the longest nonstop migration of any land bird — is completed in eight to 10 days of continuous flapping without stopping to eat, drink or rest.

The godwit’s ordeal is so extreme that, as one recent paper put it, it challenges “underlying assumptions of bird physiology.” Before the bird takes off, its organs shrink, its pectoral muscles grow, and it gobbles up insects, worms and mollusks to store fat for the long journey. One scientist called the godwits “obese super athletes.”

— Matthew Cullen, Evening Briefing, NY Times. September 20, 2022. 


  1. the ways these animals adapt themselves to their situations is simply, amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nothing surprises me the lengths that birds or people take just to get to Australia 🇦🇺 ha 😅
    But seriously, that’s amazing adaptation! 👏👏

    Liked by 4 people

  3. amazing and I’ll never complain about my commute again, drinking milky coffee and listening to music or books along the way

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow what a trip! I thought our wayward Sea Eagle was a traveler.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely a wake-up call! And such a cute beak 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fascinating! Although “obese super athletes” sorta sounds like a left handed compliment if ever I heard one, sign me “well-nourished couch potato”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This is horrifying! So sorry for that bird!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Long commute!! … “The godwit’s ordeal is so extreme that, as one recent paper put it, it challenges “underlying assumptions of bird physiology.”


  9. Just another reason birds are so amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My only comment (meant with gentle humor) is….why??

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for giving us all a communal appreciation experience! I recently heard more about godwits on the incredible 6 part series on “Patagonia.” I recommend it to all nature lovers (no other place on the planet like Patagonia).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Holy cow, THAT is impressive. Wonder what they talk about during the flight? ‘Do you believe we have to turn around and do this again next year?!” 😂 Seriously, incredible!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Birds are such amazing creatures…and their migration each year is astounding. I’ve learned a lot since I started going to the wildlife refuge here a couple years ago. I’ve been hearing lately that the sandhill cranes are starting to arrive. When they first get here, they are depleted from their long journey, and they need to eat and rest. Other types of birds will stop here for a short rest on their way to other places. I cannot even imagine flying for thousands of miles with so little rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This alone makes me wonder no longer why, during our time in UK, we saw so many ‘anoraks’ birdwatching for absolutely hours and days…..
    If Americans don’t know the word ‘anorak’ in this 2nd sense, look it up; it’s a wonderful word.

    Liked by 1 person

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