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Migration strategy of a flight generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus

Klaassen, Raymond LU ; Ens, Bruno J.; Shamoun-Baranes, Judy; Exo, Klaus-Michael and Bairlein, Franz (2012) In Behavioral Ecology 23(1). p.58-68
Abstract
Migrating birds are believed to minimize the time spent on migration rather than energy. Birds seem to maximize migration speed in different ways as a noteworthy variation in migration strategies exists. We studied migration strategies of a flight mode and feeding generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, using GPS-based satellite telemetry. We expected the gulls to achieve very high overall migration speeds by traveling via the shortest direct route, traveling during a large part of the day and night, and making few and short stopovers. Fourteen individuals were tracked between the Dutch breeding colony and the wintering sites in England, southern Europe and northwest Africa. The gulls did not travel via the shortest possible... (More)
Migrating birds are believed to minimize the time spent on migration rather than energy. Birds seem to maximize migration speed in different ways as a noteworthy variation in migration strategies exists. We studied migration strategies of a flight mode and feeding generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, using GPS-based satellite telemetry. We expected the gulls to achieve very high overall migration speeds by traveling via the shortest direct route, traveling during a large part of the day and night, and making few and short stopovers. Fourteen individuals were tracked between the Dutch breeding colony and the wintering sites in England, southern Europe and northwest Africa. The gulls did not travel via the shortest possible route but made substantial detours by their tendency to follow coasts. Although the gulls traveled during most of the day, and sometimes during the night, they did not achieve long daily distances (177 and 176 km/day in autumn and spring, respectively), which is explained by the gulls stopping frequently on travel days to forage. Furthermore, due to frequent and long migratory stopovers, their overall migration speed was among the lowest recorded for migratory birds (44 and 98 km/day, in autumn and spring, respectively). A possible explanation for the unexpected frequent stopovers and low migration speeds is that gulls do not minimize the duration of migration but rather minimize the costs of migration. Energy rather than time might be important for short-distance migrating birds, resulting in very different migration strategies compared with long-distance migrants. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
animal movement, currency, flight modes, migration strategies, migratory, stopover
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
23
issue
1
pages
58 - 68
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000298386500009
  • scopus:84555170619
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/arr150
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
253d3d09-0eb5-4293-9c9f-a431a255c235 (old id 2333940)
date added to LUP
2012-01-30 14:44:56
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:09:57
@article{253d3d09-0eb5-4293-9c9f-a431a255c235,
  abstract     = {Migrating birds are believed to minimize the time spent on migration rather than energy. Birds seem to maximize migration speed in different ways as a noteworthy variation in migration strategies exists. We studied migration strategies of a flight mode and feeding generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, using GPS-based satellite telemetry. We expected the gulls to achieve very high overall migration speeds by traveling via the shortest direct route, traveling during a large part of the day and night, and making few and short stopovers. Fourteen individuals were tracked between the Dutch breeding colony and the wintering sites in England, southern Europe and northwest Africa. The gulls did not travel via the shortest possible route but made substantial detours by their tendency to follow coasts. Although the gulls traveled during most of the day, and sometimes during the night, they did not achieve long daily distances (177 and 176 km/day in autumn and spring, respectively), which is explained by the gulls stopping frequently on travel days to forage. Furthermore, due to frequent and long migratory stopovers, their overall migration speed was among the lowest recorded for migratory birds (44 and 98 km/day, in autumn and spring, respectively). A possible explanation for the unexpected frequent stopovers and low migration speeds is that gulls do not minimize the duration of migration but rather minimize the costs of migration. Energy rather than time might be important for short-distance migrating birds, resulting in very different migration strategies compared with long-distance migrants.},
  author       = {Klaassen, Raymond and Ens, Bruno J. and Shamoun-Baranes, Judy and Exo, Klaus-Michael and Bairlein, Franz},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {animal movement,currency,flight modes,migration strategies,migratory,stopover},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {58--68},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Migration strategy of a flight generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arr150},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2012},
}