AWorld Record?

Subject: AWorld Record?
From: RAOU Publicity <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 17:27:50 +1100 (EST)
It appears that English sailors are not the only one's to be "rescued" in
the southern ocean.
 Following is news item for your interest.


Studies in bird habits increase our knowledge of the amazing flying feats of
the globe-roaming migratory species. The Victorian Wader Study Group of the
Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union has captured a juvenile Common Tern
that has flown over 26000 kilometers from it's nest in Finland.

The tern was caught last Friday on a beach near the RAOU's Rotamah Island
Bird Observatory on the Gippsland Lakes, after what is believed  to be the
longest documented journey of any bird in the world. It was banded as a
chick, in it's nest on an island, in a lake in central Finland on 30th June
last year.

Tern averaged an amazing 120 kilometers a day, for every day of it's life,
as it travelled to make this epic trip from Finland. Given that it would not
flown until two weeks after bandinding, and it may have taken some time for
the bird to grow strong enough to make the journey, and also as it cannot be
assumed that the bird was caught the day it arrived, experts believe that
itactual speed of travel may been closer to 200 kms per day. 

Assuming the bird followed the normal migratory route of Common Terns from
Finland, it flew out into the Atlantic, down the coast of Africa, arriving
at the the normal wintering area on theCape of Good Hope in South Africa.
>From there it was probably caught up in severe southern ocean gales, and so
followed the route taken by the two recently rescued solo sailors.  Refuge
was found on the Gippsland Lakes beach where the bird conservation team were
studying birds to determine their migratory paths and hence the important
wetland regions to protect.

The Guinness Book of Records states that the longest bird journey was one
made by an Arctic Tern, banded in Russia, on the White Sea in July1955and
found in Fremantle in May 1956. Assuming it also flew following a coastal
route, that bird would have travelled approximately 22500 kilometers.

Dr. Clive Minton, who leads The Victorian Wader Study Group, is excited by
this very important find, as it provides another small clue to the puzzle
about how and why birds make these amazing journeys. Dr. Minton says that
the Common Tern is a graceful sea bird that feeds on small fish, and weighs
about 120 grams. He was surprised that, given the ordeal the bird was
subjected to, it was in excellent condition, and it's weight was normal.

Further Information

Dr Clive Minton

Bill Fenton
Marketing Manager
Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East  Vic  3123
Ph.: (03) 9882 2622
Fax: (03) 9882 2677

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU