Researchers from Lund University in Sweden found that this little bird (Swift) can fly continuously for 10 months, without ever having to touch the ground.
Scientists have long assumed that this little bird can stay in the air for a very long time. But thanks to miniature electrical devices, with which were followed 13 birds, this is the first evidence so far.
According to a report by researchers, three of the birds did not stop to the ground 10 months. They stayed on the ground only two months during the breeding season, and then again took flight.
With the help of miniature devices, weighing less than one gram, which were placed on the backs of birds, researchers could monitor whether the birds are in the air or not, how quickly they fly and the location where they are. Even the birds that briefly landed, 99.5 per cent of the time they were in the air during the period of relocation.
Birds that stayed in the air for almost a year, produced new feathers on the wings and tail in the period while flying.
Birds that occasionally landed did not produce new feathers. In the opinion of researchers this can explain the differences in flight and their general fitness.
With this research, the small swift bird, exceeded the record of six months of continuous flight.
These birds, during their lifetime, which takes an average of 5.5 years, can travel millions of kilometers between Europe and Africa, during annual migrations.
The next question for the researchers is how birds manage to achieve this. It takes a lot of energy to stay so long in the air. Than there is the question of how they sleep – if they need sleep.