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9 birds that set records for their amazing flights

June 5, 2014, 11:24 a.m.
great snape

Photo: KOO/Shutterstock

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Fastest long-haul flier: Great snipe

The great snipe might not be the fastest bird in a sprint race but it'll sure win the marathon! A 2011 report showed that this species blows other migrating birds out of the water for the fastest long-distance non-stop flight. The great snipes tagged by researchers traveled from Sweden to sub-Saharan Africa in a mere two days! That's about 4,200 miles, at an average speed of 60 mph, without any rest. No wonder they nearly double their weight before making the lightening-speed migration. Other bird species may migrate farther (and we have a record-holder that we'll get to soon), but they take much more time, including taking pit stops, to get there.