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Flight activity in pallid swifts Apus pallidus during the non-breeding period

Hedenström, Anders LU ; Norevik, Gabriel LU ; Boano, Giovanni; Andersson, Arne LU ; Bäckman, Johan LU and Åkesson, Susanne LU (2019) In Journal of Avian Biology 50(2).
Abstract

Flight activity recorders have recently confirmed that alpine and common swifts spend the majority of their non-breeding period on the wing, which may last 6–10 months. Here we test the hypothesis that the closely related pallid swift, a species with a breeding distribution around the Mediterranean, lead a similar aerial life-style during its migration and wintering periods. The pallid swift usually lays two clutches in one season and therefore spends more time in the breeding area than the common swift. We successfully tracked four pallid swifts with data loggers that record light for geolocation and acceleration every 5 min to monitor flight activity. The birds wintered south of the Sahel in west Africa from the Ivory Coast to... (More)

Flight activity recorders have recently confirmed that alpine and common swifts spend the majority of their non-breeding period on the wing, which may last 6–10 months. Here we test the hypothesis that the closely related pallid swift, a species with a breeding distribution around the Mediterranean, lead a similar aerial life-style during its migration and wintering periods. The pallid swift usually lays two clutches in one season and therefore spends more time in the breeding area than the common swift. We successfully tracked four pallid swifts with data loggers that record light for geolocation and acceleration every 5 min to monitor flight activity. The birds wintered south of the Sahel in west Africa from the Ivory Coast to Cameroon. The pallid swifts spent the majority of their non-breeding time in flight, especially the first two months after leaving the breeding area in autumn, while a few landing events occurred during the winter. The total time grounded was < 1%, similar to that of the common and alpine swifts. The mass specific flight metabolic rate of swifts is similar to the average non-breeding metabolic rate of a long distance terrestrial migrant, suggesting swifts are not more likely to procure oxidative damage as a consequence of continuous flight than other migrants. The open airspace used by swifts may provide a relatively safe habitat that explain the high survival rate found in swifts.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
aerial life, Apus pallidus, energetics, flight, migration
in
Journal of Avian Biology
volume
50
issue
2
publisher
Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062295518
ISSN
0908-8857
DOI
10.1111/jav.01972
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1d25d17e-6a3f-4b5b-9422-9a61d18bb4ec
date added to LUP
2019-03-13 13:18:41
date last changed
2019-07-16 04:05:54
@article{1d25d17e-6a3f-4b5b-9422-9a61d18bb4ec,
  abstract     = {<p>Flight activity recorders have recently confirmed that alpine and common swifts spend the majority of their non-breeding period on the wing, which may last 6–10 months. Here we test the hypothesis that the closely related pallid swift, a species with a breeding distribution around the Mediterranean, lead a similar aerial life-style during its migration and wintering periods. The pallid swift usually lays two clutches in one season and therefore spends more time in the breeding area than the common swift. We successfully tracked four pallid swifts with data loggers that record light for geolocation and acceleration every 5 min to monitor flight activity. The birds wintered south of the Sahel in west Africa from the Ivory Coast to Cameroon. The pallid swifts spent the majority of their non-breeding time in flight, especially the first two months after leaving the breeding area in autumn, while a few landing events occurred during the winter. The total time grounded was &lt; 1%, similar to that of the common and alpine swifts. The mass specific flight metabolic rate of swifts is similar to the average non-breeding metabolic rate of a long distance terrestrial migrant, suggesting swifts are not more likely to procure oxidative damage as a consequence of continuous flight than other migrants. The open airspace used by swifts may provide a relatively safe habitat that explain the high survival rate found in swifts.</p>},
  articleno    = {e01972},
  author       = {Hedenström, Anders and Norevik, Gabriel and Boano, Giovanni and Andersson, Arne and Bäckman, Johan and Åkesson, Susanne},
  issn         = {0908-8857},
  keyword      = {aerial life,Apus pallidus,energetics,flight,migration},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Avian Biology},
  title        = {Flight activity in pallid swifts Apus pallidus during the non-breeding period},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01972},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2019},
}