Story: Bird migration

Eastern bar-tailed godwit

Eastern bar-tailed godwit

Adult bar-tailed godwits arrive in New Zealand from late September to early October. After their 11,000-kilometre journey they are thin from fasting and from the enormous expenditure of energy. Worn, frayed flight feathers can be seen in this photo. By February they have fattened up and replaced their feathers with red breeding plumage, and by March or early April they are ready to leave.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10030915
Photograph by Dick Veitch

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Bird migration - Preparation for the journey', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7236/eastern-bar-tailed-godwit (accessed 31 March 2020)

Story by Christina Troup, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015