The Top 10 Birds With the Longest Aerial Migration

While most birds are quite happy to lay their eggs and breed in the same place, year after year, there are some other birds who like to migrate over long distances. Not only are these distances incredible, but it’s also the small size of some of the birds that are doing it!

 


The Top 10 Birds With the Longest Aerial Migration


 

Surfbird - Maximum Migration Distance: 7,200 Miles (11,587 KM)
Surfbird – Maximum Migration Distance: 7,200 Miles (11,587 KM)

10 – Surfbird – Maximum Migration Distance: 7,200 Miles (11,587 KM)

The Surfbird is a small stocky wader in the family Scolopacidae. It was once considered to be allied to the turnstones, and placed in the monotypic genus Aphriza, but is now placed in the genus Calidris.

Southern Polar Skua - Maximum Migration Distance: 8,000 Miles (12,874 KM)
Southern Polar Skua – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,000 Miles (12,874 KM)

9 – Southern Polar Skua – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,000 Miles (12,874 KM)

The south polar skua is a large seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae. An older name for the bird is MacCormick’s skua, after explorer and naval surgeon Robert McCormick, who first collected the type specimen.

Ruddy Turnstone - Maximum Migration Distance: 8,400 Miles (13,518 KM)
Ruddy Turnstone – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,400 Miles (13,518 KM)

8 – Ruddy Turnstone – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,400 Miles (13,518 KM)

The ruddy turnstone is a small wading bird, one of two species of turnstone in the genus Arenaria. The scientific name is from Latin. The genus name “arenaria” derives from ‘arenarius’, “inhabiting sand, from the arena, “sand”.

Red Phalarope - Maximum Migration Distance: 8,700 Miles (14,001 KM)
Red Phalarope – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,700 Miles (14,001 KM)

7 – Red Phalarope – Maximum Migration Distance: 8,700 Miles (14,001 KM)

The red phalarope “Phalaropus fulicarius” is a small wader. This phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, migrating mainly on oceanic routes and wintering at sea on tropical oceans.

Northern Giant Petrel - Maximum Migration Distance: 9,000 Miles (14,484 KM)
Northern Giant Petrel – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,000 Miles (14,484 KM)

6 – Northern Giant Petrel – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,000 Miles (14,484 KM)

The northern giant petrel, also known as Hall’s giant petrel, is a large predatory seabird of the southern oceans. Its distribution overlaps broadly, but is slightly north of, the similar southern giant petrel.

Lesser yellowlegs - Maximum Migration Distance: 9,300 Miles (14,966 KM)
Lesser yellowlegs – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,300 Miles (14,966 KM)

5 – Lesser yellowlegs – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,300 Miles (14,966 KM)

A medium-large shorebird, the lesser yellowlegs measures 27 cm (11 in). The legs are yellow. Compared to the greater yellowlegs, the bill is shorter (visually about thdiving-petrelsas the head), slim, straight, and uniformly dark. The breast is streaked and the flanks are finely marked with short bars.

Albatross - Maximum Migration Distance: 9,360 Miles (15,063 KM)
Albatross – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,360 Miles (15,063 KM)

4 – Albatross – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,360 Miles (15,063 KM)

Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds related to the procellariids, storm petrels and diving petrels in the order Procellariiformes. They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific

Sandpiper - Maximum Migration Distance: 9,600 Miles (15,450 KM)
Sandpiper – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,600 Miles (15,450 KM)

3 – Sandpiper – Maximum Migration Distance: 9,600 Miles (15,450 KM)

Sandpipers are a large family, Scolopacidae, of waders or shorebirds. They include many species called sandpipers, as well as those called by names such as curlew and snipe.

Parasitic jaeger - Maximum Migration Distance: 10,000 Miles (16,093 KM)
Parasitic jaeger – Maximum Migration Distance: 10,000 Miles (16,093 KM)

2 – Parasitic jaeger – Maximum Migration Distance: 10,000 Miles (16,093 KM)

The parasitic jaeger, also known as the Arctic skua or parasitic skua, is a seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae. The word “jaeger” is derived from the German word Jäger, meaning “hunter”.

Arctic Tern - Maximum Migration Distance: 12,500 Miles (20,117 KM)
Arctic Tern – Maximum Migration Distance: 12,500 Miles (20,117 KM)

1 – Arctic Tern – Maximum Migration Distance: 12,500 Miles (20,117 KM)

The Arctic tern is a tern in the family Laridae. This bird has a circumpolar breeding distribution covering the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.

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