The swallow is considered the species that travels the longest in its migrations. They travel from the North Pole to the South Pole, and in their annual migrations they travel about 71,000 kilometers, which is equivalent to three round trips to the Moon in the 3 or 4 years that these birds live on average.
However, these birds do not travel directly south, but rather they spend almost a month at sea, in the northern Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,000 kilometers north of the Azores. Why do they do it? This is because they are very productive waters in which they stay to “refuel”, since in the waters they find immediately after their journey it is more difficult for them to find food.
After this stop, the terns continue their long journey south along the northwest coast of Africa, but at the height of Cape Verde they surprise with their behavior, as half the flock continues its journey down the African coastwhile the other half crosses the ocean to follow a parallel route along the east coast of South America.
All the birds spend the northern winter months at different points in Antarctic waters and on their return journey to Greenland they do not take the shortest route, but they fly tracing a huge “S” in the Atlantic Oceana detour of several thousand kilometers in relation to the straight line.
These new details released have been compiled thanks to a “geolocator”, which captures the intensity of light, which allows recording two geographical positions per day in the migration of birds to monitor the evolution of their journey.