Flying for your life

ABC Radio National’s Off Track program has been following migratory shorebirds on their annual journey across the world.
“Millions of shorebirds fly between Australasia and the Arctic every year. They navigate over oceans using stars and magnetic fields, they sleep with half their brain at a time while they’re on the wing. But for some of them, this will be the last as shorebird populations are plummeting, with seven of Australia’s 37 Migratory waders on the Commonwealth’s list of threatened species.”
Check out the longform account here by Radio National’s Ann Jones.

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Listen and find out more:

Episode 1: The journey begins
“Millions of shorebirds fly between Australasia and the Arctic every year. They navigate over oceans using stars and magnetic fields, they sleep with half their brain at a time while they’re on the wing. But for some of them, this will be the last flight.”

Episode 2: China’s new great wall
“Australia’s migratory shorebirds have just flown 5,000 kilometres northward to stopover in the Yellow Sea.
What will they find when they arrive?”

Episode 3: An unlikely savior
“On the shorelines of the Yellow Sea, eight million shorebirds are probing the sediment for food, but their bellies are empty.
Could their epic migration end here on this barren mudflat?”

Episode 4: Birds without borders
“Every year millions of birds leave Australia to fly to the arctic to breed, risking their life in doing so. In the final episode of this four-part series, the birds have arrived in the arctic…”