Blackpoll warblers may be the planet's ultimate endurance athletes. Why? Because UMass researchers have just found that they fly nonstop for three straight days — from the New England coast, 1,700 miles to Puerto Rico each fall.
- "The slight birds, which typically weigh a little more than two quarters, accomplish this seemingly impossible feat by fattening up preflight, in some cases nearly doubling their body weight."
- "Using miniaturized light-level geolocators, we provide the first irrefutable evidence that the blackpoll warbler, a 12 g boreal forest songbird, completes an autumn transoceanic migration ranging from 2270 to 2770 km and requiring up to 3 days of non-stop flight. This is one of the longest non-stop overwater flights recorded for a songbird and confirms what has long been believed to be one of the most extraordinary migratory feats on the planet."
This segment aired on April 2, 2015.