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Interspecific comparison of the flight performance between sparrowhawks and common buzzards migrating at the Falsterbo peninsula: A radar study

Malmiga, Gintaras; Nilsson, Cecilia LU ; Bäckman, Johan LU and Alerstam, Thomas LU (2014) In Current Zoology 60(5). p.670-679
Abstract
In order to compare the two species’ flight performance over the exposed and windy Falsterbo Peninsula, where

thermal conditions seldomly are very favorable, we used tracking radar to study flight parameters of sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus

and common buzzards Buteo buteo during autumn migration. The results showed a clear difference between sparrowhawks

and common buzzards in their flight altitudes and speeds, and in the wind conditions they encountered. Common buzzards had

higher flight altitudes and were more selective of wind. Flight altitude was negatively related to the wind speed, which was most

pronounced for common buzzards. Sparrowhawks had higher mean air- and cross-country speeds than... (More)
In order to compare the two species’ flight performance over the exposed and windy Falsterbo Peninsula, where

thermal conditions seldomly are very favorable, we used tracking radar to study flight parameters of sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus

and common buzzards Buteo buteo during autumn migration. The results showed a clear difference between sparrowhawks

and common buzzards in their flight altitudes and speeds, and in the wind conditions they encountered. Common buzzards had

higher flight altitudes and were more selective of wind. Flight altitude was negatively related to the wind speed, which was most

pronounced for common buzzards. Sparrowhawks had higher mean air- and cross-country speeds than common buzzards. Airspeed

was negatively related, whereas ground and cross-country speeds were positively related to the tailwind component for

both raptors. The differences between sparrowhawks and buzzards could to a large degree be explained by a larger dependence on

thermal soaring among the common buzzards; a strategy associated with selectivity for favourable thermal and wind conditions

during migratory flight. An additional important explanation for the interspecific differences was the habit of the sparrowhawks

to combine migratory flight with hunting for prey, which makes it prone to fly at lower altitudes and use flapping flight to a much

larger degree than common buzzards which do not forage during their migratory passage of the Falsterbo Peninsula. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Current Zoology
volume
60
issue
5
pages
670 - 679
publisher
Current Zoology
external identifiers
  • wos:000342355500013
  • scopus:84908253887
ISSN
1674-5507
project
CAnMove
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
98ef5b23-4e20-4151-965d-d01a9a1712fc (old id 4699000)
alternative location
http://www.currentzoology.org/temp/%7B503FA8FE-E858-4E39-BA6A-BE13D2E2F3FC%7D.pdf
date added to LUP
2014-10-23 09:36:26
date last changed
2017-07-09 03:58:57
@article{98ef5b23-4e20-4151-965d-d01a9a1712fc,
  abstract     = {In order to compare the two species’ flight performance over the exposed and windy Falsterbo Peninsula, where<br/><br>
thermal conditions seldomly are very favorable, we used tracking radar to study flight parameters of sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus<br/><br>
and common buzzards Buteo buteo during autumn migration. The results showed a clear difference between sparrowhawks<br/><br>
and common buzzards in their flight altitudes and speeds, and in the wind conditions they encountered. Common buzzards had<br/><br>
higher flight altitudes and were more selective of wind. Flight altitude was negatively related to the wind speed, which was most<br/><br>
pronounced for common buzzards. Sparrowhawks had higher mean air- and cross-country speeds than common buzzards. Airspeed<br/><br>
was negatively related, whereas ground and cross-country speeds were positively related to the tailwind component for<br/><br>
both raptors. The differences between sparrowhawks and buzzards could to a large degree be explained by a larger dependence on<br/><br>
thermal soaring among the common buzzards; a strategy associated with selectivity for favourable thermal and wind conditions<br/><br>
during migratory flight. An additional important explanation for the interspecific differences was the habit of the sparrowhawks<br/><br>
to combine migratory flight with hunting for prey, which makes it prone to fly at lower altitudes and use flapping flight to a much<br/><br>
larger degree than common buzzards which do not forage during their migratory passage of the Falsterbo Peninsula.},
  author       = {Malmiga, Gintaras and Nilsson, Cecilia and Bäckman, Johan and Alerstam, Thomas},
  issn         = {1674-5507},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {670--679},
  publisher    = {Current Zoology},
  series       = {Current Zoology},
  title        = {Interspecific comparison of the flight performance between sparrowhawks and common buzzards migrating at the Falsterbo peninsula: A radar study},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2014},
}