World’s fastest long distance bird

A plump little shorebird has smashed the record for the fastest long-distance, nonstop flight in the animal kingdom.

In a new study, scientists have discovered that great snipes can complete a transcontinental flight across Europe, from Sweden to sub-Saharan Africa, in as little as two days without resting. The birds traveled up to 6,760 kilometers (4,200 miles) at an average speed of 97 kilometers (60 miles) an hour.

To track the birds, biologists captured and tagged ten great snipes with geolocators at their breeding grounds in western Sweden in May 2009. Tracking data for three of the birds was retrieved after their recapture in Sweden a year later. Learn more here.


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