Did you travel over the holidays, or did people visit you? Many people travel during Christmas and New Years, and so do some animals! Researchers have developed a new tracking device that is more efficient and lighter, allowing them to track the migration of birds that they were never able to track before.
Puffins take a trip that lasts from 1-3 months. One particular group lives on an island off the coast of Scotland. In the winter, they fly to a place in the Atlantic Ocean, visit for a while, then return to their island home. It doesn't seem like a great vacation, does it? Researchers are not sure why these puffins migrate to this location, or what they eat while there. They are hoping to find out more by using tracking devices.
Arctic terns go much further in their vacation travels. Even though they weigh less than 4 ounces, they fly almost all the way from the North Pole to the South Pole each year. The birds leave their home in Greenland during September. They stop in the North Atlantic to load up on food for the long journey. The terns split into two groups, one traveling south along the coast of Africa, and the other traveling south along the coast of South America. They spend about 5 months in Antarctica. The birds travel back to Greenland by a different route, following an S shape across the Atlantic ocean. They arrive back home in April or May, after traveling close to 43,000 miles. Quite a vacation trip!
The Creator has built amazing traveling abilities into migratory birds. They have the original GPS!