This is amazing stuff to me! We have a tendency to believe that existence, perhaps even the Universe, is all about the human experience. Really?! Stories like this are reminders that amazing stuff happens close to home without our participation or interference. In fact, I would argue that overall our participation in the grand scheme of things has actually been quite negative in its impact.
Common swifts spend nearly a year on the wing and will travel the distance of seven round-trip journeys to the moon in their lifetimes.
“The data revealed that common swifts — which make a 10-month journey from Northern Europe to Central Africa and back each year — spend 99.5 percent of their migration in the air. When they did touch down, on a tree branch or patch of ground, it was only for an hour or two. Then back into the air to continue their marathon journey.
“It’s absolutely minuscule, the time they actually spend resting,” Hedenström says.
Three of the birds never landed at all. Instead they spent their entire migration aloft, traveling more than 10,000 miles without rest. No other migratory bird — not even the tenacious frigate bird, which spends weeks on the wing during long ocean crossings — is known to spend so long in the sky.“