World's Fastest Bird? Chubby Snipe Snaps Nonstop Record
Great snipes can fly nonstop from Sweden to sub-Saharan Africa in two days.
In a new study, scientists have discovered that great snipes can complete a transcontinental flight across Europe, from Sweden to sub-Saharan Africa, in as little as two days without resting. The birds traveled up to 4,200 miles (6,760 kilometers) at an average speed of 60 miles (97 kilometers) an hour.
To track the birds, biologists captured and tagged ten great snipes with geolocators at their breeding grounds in western Sweden in May 2009. Tracking data for three of the birds was retrieved after their recapture in Sweden a year later.
At first glance, great snipes don't look especially speedy or well equipped for such an arduous journey. Their bodies are small and