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VCU Rice Center/Center for Conservation Biology scientists examine fall migratory pathways and habits of whimbrels

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As they traveled from the east coast of Canada to the northern shore of South America, Akpik, Mackenzie, Pingo and Taglu stunned researchers and the global conservation community by flying some 2,500 miles out to sea, through the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, a migration route that has never before been documented.

The nonstop flight was quite a feat, especially for a medium-sized shorebird that cannot land on water. For one bird, the journey took 145 hours, or approximately six days, and a distance of 4,355 miles.

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