Longest Odyssey

Photo courtesy Tim Bowman, US fish & Wildlife

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The Wildlife Conservation Society announced their researchers spotted a Bar-tailed Godwit in Alaska banded in Australia 8,000 miles away. We’ve known for a while these small birds make epic migrations (I wrote about godwits and what they have to teach us in Diet for a Warm Planet).

But it’s still really rare to find a bird tagged on one end of its migration at the other end. They’re usually spotted back where they were banded. The WCS researchers also found two other long-distance flyers, a Banded Dunlin and a Semipalmated Sandpiper, marked and released three years ago as part of a study testing whether birds overwintering in Asia carry H5N1 Avian Influenza to North America. The answer so far: No.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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