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Seasonal modulation of flight speed among nocturnal passerine migrants: differences between short- and long-distance migrants

Nilsson, Cecilia LU ; Bäckman, Johan LU and Alerstam, Thomas LU (2014) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68(11). p.1799-1807
Abstract
Migrating birds are expected to fly at higher airspeeds when minimizing time rather than energy costs of their migratory journeys. Spring migration has often been suggested to be more time selected than autumn migration, because of the advantage of early arrival at breeding sites. We have earlier demonstrated that nocturnal passerine migrants fly at higher airspeeds during spring compared to autumn, supporting time-selected spring migration. In this study, we test the hypothesis that seasonal airspeeds are modulated differently between short- and long-distance migrants, because of a stronger element of time selection for autumn migration over long distances. In support of this hypothesis, we demonstrate that the seasonal difference in... (More)
Migrating birds are expected to fly at higher airspeeds when minimizing time rather than energy costs of their migratory journeys. Spring migration has often been suggested to be more time selected than autumn migration, because of the advantage of early arrival at breeding sites. We have earlier demonstrated that nocturnal passerine migrants fly at higher airspeeds during spring compared to autumn, supporting time-selected spring migration. In this study, we test the hypothesis that seasonal airspeeds are modulated differently between short- and long-distance migrants, because of a stronger element of time selection for autumn migration over long distances. In support of this hypothesis, we demonstrate that the seasonal difference in airspeed is significantly larger (spring airspeed exceeding autumn airspeed by a factor of 1.16 after correcting for the influence of altitude, wind and climb/descent on airspeed) among short-distance compared to long-distance (factor 1.12) migrants. This result is based on a large sample of tracking radar data from 3 years at Falsterbo, South Sweden. Short-distance migrants also tend to fly with more favourable winds during autumn, indicating relaxed time constraints (being able to afford to wait for favourable winds) compared to long-distance migrants. These results indicate surprisingly fine-tuned seasonal modulation of airspeed and responses to wind, associated with behavioural strategies adapted to different levels of time selection pressures during spring and autumn migration. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
68
issue
11
pages
1799 - 1807
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000343874100008
  • scopus:85027946062
ISSN
1432-0762
DOI
10.1007/s00265-014-1789-5
project
CAnMove
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5c7c6580-526d-4a0d-bdd1-9c481b1f849f (old id 4698989)
date added to LUP
2014-11-05 13:12:22
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:49:22
@article{5c7c6580-526d-4a0d-bdd1-9c481b1f849f,
  abstract     = {Migrating birds are expected to fly at higher airspeeds when minimizing time rather than energy costs of their migratory journeys. Spring migration has often been suggested to be more time selected than autumn migration, because of the advantage of early arrival at breeding sites. We have earlier demonstrated that nocturnal passerine migrants fly at higher airspeeds during spring compared to autumn, supporting time-selected spring migration. In this study, we test the hypothesis that seasonal airspeeds are modulated differently between short- and long-distance migrants, because of a stronger element of time selection for autumn migration over long distances. In support of this hypothesis, we demonstrate that the seasonal difference in airspeed is significantly larger (spring airspeed exceeding autumn airspeed by a factor of 1.16 after correcting for the influence of altitude, wind and climb/descent on airspeed) among short-distance compared to long-distance (factor 1.12) migrants. This result is based on a large sample of tracking radar data from 3 years at Falsterbo, South Sweden. Short-distance migrants also tend to fly with more favourable winds during autumn, indicating relaxed time constraints (being able to afford to wait for favourable winds) compared to long-distance migrants. These results indicate surprisingly fine-tuned seasonal modulation of airspeed and responses to wind, associated with behavioural strategies adapted to different levels of time selection pressures during spring and autumn migration.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Cecilia and Bäckman, Johan and Alerstam, Thomas},
  issn         = {1432-0762},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1799--1807},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Seasonal modulation of flight speed among nocturnal passerine migrants: differences between short- and long-distance migrants},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-014-1789-5},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2014},
}