Date: March 25, 2019
Source: Newcastle University
Data from a landmark study of the world's longest migrating seabird reveals how overland migration is an integral part of their amazing journey.
Analysing the data from electronic tags retrieved from 47 Arctic Terns, the Newcastle University-led team has been able to characterise in unprecedented detail the route and stop-off points during this record-breaking bird's 90,000 km annual migration.
An 8,000km, 24-day, non-stop flight over the Indian Ocean, feeding on the move
An overland detour from the Farne Irelands to the Irish Sea and over Ireland to the Atlantic
A short stay on the New Zealand coast before completing the final leg of their journey
A stop-off at Llangorse Lake, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, during their return journey in the Spring
Led by scientists at Newcastle University, UK, in collaboration with BBC's Springwatch and The National Trust, 53 adult birds nesting on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast were fitted with geolocators over a three year period.
Weighing just over 100 g the Arctic Tern has the longest migration of any bird, travelling all the way to Antarctica for the winter and back to the Farnes, which are owned and managed by the National Trust, to breed in the spring.
So far, 47 tags have been retrieved and the research team, led by Dr Chris Redfern of Newcastle University, are starting to analyse the data.