Sunday, September 7, 2008

Early Arrival of Godwits - Kuaka at Christchurch Estuary

The Press in Christchurch reports that the first godwits have arrived from Alaska at the Avon-Heathcote estuary some two weeks earlier than expected, causing concern as to why they left their northern hemisphere grounds so soon.

Feeding sites used by the birds on their way north to Alaskan breeding grounds have been steadily eroded by human development in recent years.

So far some 122 birds have been recorded arriving at the Estuary in recent days. Since the non-stop trans-Pacific flight commonly totals 11,000 km, the new arrivals are reported to be eating ravenously to regain body weight loss.

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