Atlantic Flyway Migration

Passport to the Skies

Name: Moonbird, Jr.
Species: Rufa Red Knot
Date of Birth: June 30, 2000
Place of Birth: Canadian Arctic
Reason for Trip: Following the food and sun to my breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic.

Travel Itinerary
Date of Departure: March 1, 2014
Travel Time: 3months
Place of Origin: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Destination: Southampton Island, Canadian Arctic
Frequent Flyer Miles Earned: 9,000

Travel Background
Essential Travel Needs: Before every long flight I gobble up as much protein as I can and convert it to pure fat. All this pigging-out can swell my body to 2 times my normal size. I also change in a few other ways before I’m ready for take-off: my flight muscles enlarge, my leg muscles shrink and my stomach and gizzard decrease. Now I’m ready to go!

First Flight: When I was six weeks old, I began my first journey from the Canadian Arctic to the southern tip of South America. I had to do it in several stages, stopping at refueling stations. My parents weren’t with me, but they had passed down an internal GPS that allowed me navigate halfway around the world.

Scariest Flight: On one trip to the Southern Hemisphere, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the height of one of the worst hurricane seasons on record. Fortunately, I was able to thread the needle between two huge storms and made it safely to my destination.

Favorite In-Flight Foods: When I stop to feed during migration, it takes time for my digestive system to recover from the flight. So I need food that is easy to digest. My favorites are horseshoe crab eggs, and young mussels and clams. Yum!

Click below to hear my song!




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