Many of you will have read or heard of the amazing journey of the godwit now known as ‘E7’. She together with several other godwits at Miranda and Farewell Spit were fitted with transmitters in February of 2007. The purpose of this exercise was to track their migration routes from their New Zealand patch up to their breeding grounds in Alaska, which E7 and most of her tagged companions did. As fortune would have it the transmitter batteries surpassed all expectations and allowed excited ornithologists to track her progress as she completed her loop back to New Zealand. After leaving the Miranda area on in mid February she arrived back here on the 7th September having completed, as so many of these birds do every year, the full circuit of over 29,000km. Her migration from Alaska to New Zealand, a route of 11,500km, took her 8 days of non-stop flying! Her arrival back to Miranda was surely an emotional moment for many involved in this project!

In 2008 the study was extended with more birds being fitted with transmitters. Some of these birds have reached their staging grounds in Asia whilst others have made it to their breeding grounds in Alaska and a few have decided not to leave the comforts of New Zealand this year!

Any sightings (or even suspected sightings) of these birds should be reported to the Shorebird Centre. The tagged birds have a black flag with a white letter and number.

Details of the project, organisations involved and some statistics on E7’s journey can be found by members in 2007and 2008 Miranda Naturalist Trust News issues (copies available to non-members from the Shorebird Centre) as well as in the following web pages:

USGS Release: Bird Completes Epic flight across the Pacific (9/12/2007 7:27:02 AM)

USGS Alaska Science Center Bar-tailed Godwit Updates

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