Watching a family of Swifts migrating to Central Africa, a group of specialists under the leadership of andrés Hedenstrom from the University of Lund found that some of these birds for 10 months, never touched the ground. So far, the specialists have never seen such a long continuous flight.
Common Swifts, Apus Apus or live in Europe two months a year, during which time they hatch eggs and breed. Then the birds travel to Africa and returned only after ten months. The specialists have never seen on the route these birds of places they’d settled in for the night as well as “home”. Because of this, many specialists there was a suspicion that the Swifts simply never landed during its journey, however many believed this theory too bold.
To check if in fact decrease the Swifts, the scientists attached to the seven individuals of sensors, light enough not to interfere with the flight, but giving full information on the location of the birds and their altitude. As it turned out, three of swift for 10 months of the flight has not landed even once, and the other did it very rarely and only under the influence of such circumstances as absolutely “non-flying” weather.
Scientists say that birds are, in all probability, have mastered the art of “sleep on the go — the sleep they need as well as other animals. While researchers are not ready to say with certainty exactly how the birds manage to get some sleep in the air, but multiple versions of them exist. Probably Swifts, like dolphins, are able to lull to sleep, only one half of his own brain, so resting and continuing to fly at the same time. According to another version, birds go to sleep when you climb to a high altitude and glide, slowly losing altitude and having to take a NAP.
The experts felt that in my life, the duration of which is up to 20 years, Swifts are able to fly the same distance, 14 times the distance from earth to the moon. Thus, according to the scientists, the best chance to beat ten-month record of being in the air are black Swifts, or rather, the young birds — first time coming back from warm countries, they don’t leave offspring, so, theoretically, they can without a break to fly for almost two years.
A study of black Swifts, published in the scientific journal Anders Hedenström