The long-ranging godwit flies to the northern hemisphere for breeding in Alaska before wheeling back to New Zealand at the start of spring in September and October.
This week we reported on the return of tens of thousands of other migratory creatures, New Zealanders who have alighted back in Aotearoa since the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic struck.
As of June 20, more than 21,000 Kiwis had returned to our shores and been accommodated in quarantine facilities. A further 3200 were expected by July 1.
There will be many families and friends who will be delighted with the return of prodigal sons and daughters. They will be further heartened to hear Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen's opinion that this time it will not be a fleeting visit.
"This pandemic isn't going away," he said. "So it's not like they're coming in for some quick refuge for six months and heading off."
It has long been hoped our outward bound trend - particularly the young and talented, freshly graduated with bright futures ahead - would hoki mai. It's taken a drastic situation indeed to bring it about, but there's even more good news.
Anecdotally, Olsen said, he'd heard of new arrivals eschewing the major cities and heading to the regions, where an injection of skillsets and youthful vigour will have the most keenly beneficial outcomes.
While we welcome 20-odd thousand, there are still plenty more out there. Stats NZ estimates somewhere between 600,000 and a million New Zealanders live abroad
There are, of course, ramifications in the movement of so many people worldwide.
Editorial: Ghislaine Maxwell will have old acquaintances nervous
Editorial: Trump doubles down on dark rhetoric for Independence Day
Oxford Economics estimates the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, could lose 900,000 jobs - a huge impact on a country of 9.6 million - and uproot 10 per cent of its workforce.
Our Kiwi arrivals also present challenges. Treasury said it expected the unemployment rate to increase from 4.2 per cent in the March quarter to 7.5 per cent in the June quarter.
Many expats will be touching down to compete with established locals in the shallowing pool of jobs.
A percentage will also have worked in sectors of diminished prospects worldwide, such as hospitality and tourism. For these, the opportunities lie in retraining. In this, we would be wise to support the education sector as our home-runners pivot to the realignment of a post-Covid existence.
Word of an apparent willingness of the returnees to head for the regions, where employers have struggled for top prospects will be heartily received. The parlous state of our largest city's water supply could do with less pressure too.
Nonetheless, our whanau of five million has worked hard to keep home fires burning and the hearth safe for the long yearned-for rehoming. Haere mai, Kiwi.
How satisfying that many will still be here, nesting and contributing to New Zealand's recovery, even as the godwits limber up and stretch their wings for the long haul north in March.