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Fact Check: No, A Female Falcon Did Not Fly Nearly 10,000 Km In 42 Days From South Africa To Finland

This article debunks the false claim that a female falcon flew nearly 10,000 km from South Africa to Finland in 42 days using a viral image that originated from a different source.

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Fact Check: No, A Female Falcon Did Not Fly Nearly 10,000 Km In 42 Days From South Africa To Finland

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The claim 2015: “Bird migration is a really fascinating subject and I am constantly amazed at the distances that some birds travel each year. With the improvements in modern technology, we can now also follow these birds more closely.A female European Honey Buzzard#was fitted with a satellite tracking system in Finland recently and was of particular interest to locals because it spent the most recent austral summer around the town of#Reitz in the Free State in South Africa. She left Reitz to start heading north on 20 April 2015 and, yesterday morning, 2 June, she finally reached Finland where she will probably spend the boreal summer before probably returning again next season to visit us here in South Africa.#Here is an image showing the data received from the tracker which plots out the route that she took to head north… so, in just 42 days, she covered over 10 000 km at an average of more than 230 km every single day! Isn’t that just amazing…?!”

The claim 2020: “A female European Honey Buzzard Bird was fitted with a satellite tracking system in Finland recently and was of particular interest to locals because it spent the most recent austral summer around the town of Reitz in the Free State in South Africa. She left Reitz to start heading north on 20 April and on the 2nd of June, she finally reached Finland where she will probably spend the boreal summer before probably returning again next season for a visit in South Africa. Here is an image showing the data received from the tracker which plots out the route that she took to head north… so, in just 42 days, she covered over 10 000 km at an average of more than 230 km every single day!”

The claim 2021: “A European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) was outfitted with a satellite tracking system, and its remarkable 10,000 km journey was mapped from Reitz, South Africa to Finland.”

The claim 2022: “These days of Covid protocols being in place for international travel, a bird found the best shortcut, no passport, no visa, no rtpcr test. Direct flight!!! A falcon was recently fitted with a satellite tracking system and it was tracked migrating from South Africa all the way to Finland. In 42 days she flew over 10,000 km in almost straight lines, at speeds of 230 km/day!!!”

The claim 2023: “A female falcon was equipped with a satellite tracking system in South Africa before migrating to Finland. In just 42 days, she flew over 10.000 km, at an incredible average of 230 km per day and nearly in a straight line.”

A viral claim that a female falcon flew nearly 10,000 km in just 42 days from South Africa to Finland has been making the rounds on social media since 2020.

The story has captured the imagination of people around the world, who have been sharing the supposed tracker data and marveling at the falcon’s incredible journey. However, a recent investigation by Mandynews.com has found that the story is false.

In 2020, a report circulated on social media claiming that a female European Honey Buzzard bird had flown nearly 10,000 km in just 42 days from South Africa to Finland. The report originated from a post on WildAware Facebook page, which included an image of data received from the bird’s satellite tracking system.

According to the post, the bird was fitted with a satellite tracking system in Finland and spent the most recent austral summer around the town of Reitz in the Free State in South Africa. The bird started heading north on April 20 and finally reached Finland on June 2, covering over 10,000 km at an average of more than 230 km per day.

The post sparked amazement among readers, who marveled at the bird’s incredible feat of endurance and navigation. However, upon further investigation, the claim turned out to be misleading.

The image that has been shared as proof of the falcon’s journey was actually taken from an unrelated article about a fault line in South Africa.

The image purported to show the falcon’s journey was actually a map of the fault line, as confirmed by the original article that it came from. The false claim has been circulating on social media for several years, often accompanied by the same image of the supposed tracker data. However, there is no credible evidence to support the story.

The viral claim originated in an article published by SAPeople in February 2016. The article discussed the Somali Plate, a tectonic plate that is slowly breaking away from the rest of Africa and will eventually form a new continent.

The article included a map of the fault line that runs through South Africa and exits through Durban. The caption of the image stated that the fault line is the same path that swallows migrate from South Africa to Finland annually. Some social media users took this to mean that a female falcon had flown the same route and that the tracker data was proof of this incredible feat.

noticed by Samantha Melville on facebook it appears “the fault line is the same path the swallows migrate from SA to Finland annually
noticed by Samantha Melville on facebook it appears “the fault line is the same path the swallows migrate from SA to Finland annually

However, the truth is that no evidence exists to support the claim that a female falcon flew nearly 10,000 km from South Africa to Finland in just 42 days.

While falcons are known for their impressive speed and endurance, such a journey would be a remarkable feat even for these birds of prey. It is also unlikely that a female falcon would undertake such a journey alone, as falcons are known to travel in groups during migration.

Verdict: Incorrect

The claim that a female falcon flew nearly 10,000 km from South Africa to Finland in just 42 days is incorrect. The viral image that is often associated with this claim is not a true representation of the bird’s flight path, and there is no evidence to support the claim that a female falcon made such a journey. The image originated in a thread published on 4x4community.co.za by oneten in June 2015, which featured a European Honey Buzzard bird that was tracked by satellite as it made its way from South Africa to Finland. However, the bird in question is not a falcon and did not cover the distance in the amount of time claimed. Therefore, we rate this claim as incorrect.

The image was also in an article published by SAPeople in February 2016, which featured the Somali Plate, a tectonic plate that is slowly breaking away from the rest of Africa and will eventually form a new continent.

Fact Check Sources:

  1. Samantha Melville’s observation on Facebook: “the fault line is the same path the swallows migrate from SA to Finland annually!”
  2. Article on SAPeople from February 2016 discussing the Somali Plate breaking away from Africa.
  3. A thread on 4x4community from June 2015 Bird Migration

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Source: MandyNews.com

I have a passion for blogging about what's trending in Hip-Hop, politics and entertainment. I'm a huge Hip-hop fan; my favorite artiste are Chris Brown, Jay'z & Beyonce. I also enjoy spending time with my team (#TeamWE), and working hard as hard work pays off.

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