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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ellwood

The Journey of the Godwits

Leading up to Mothers Day it was my pleasure to guide a walk with a lovely group of mums, out to explore the stunning vistas Banks Peninsula has to offer, and enjoy a day out together.  Fitting in a 14km hill walk between school drop off and pickup is no mean feat!

One story was of of particular interest on this day, was the phenomenal journey of the bar-tailed godwits, so I thought I would post some more information about them.  These amazing birds migrate from Alaska each year to the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, which we pass on the way from Christchurch City on two of our Crater Rim Walks.

  • The godwit migration is the longest known non-stop journey for any bird

  • They travel more than 11,000 km over 8 days, averaging 60km/h

  • The birds enjoy the New Zealand summer, rest and double their weight

Their annual arrival in September has great significance to Christchurch residents, marking the beginning of spring.  An farewell is hosted to the godwits each year at the beginning of March, to see them off on their journey back via the Yellow Sea in eastern Asia to their breeding grounds in Alaska.


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