Story: Bird migration

Bar-tailed godwits taking off

Bar-tailed godwits taking off

When bar-tailed godwits fly across the Pacific towards New Zealand, they need a very precise sense of what course to fly. Strong winds could push them too far east or west, and they could miss the islands altogether. It is thought they use a combination of cues, including a kind of magnetic map, sun angles, star movements, and landmarks to correct their course as they go.

Using this item

New Zealand Herald
Reference: 10 October 2002
Photograph by Greg Bowker

Permission of the New Zealand Herald must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Bird migration - Navigation and the magnetic field', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7253/bar-tailed-godwits-taking-off (accessed 1 April 2020)

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