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Traveling or stopping of migrating birds in relation to wind: an illustration for the osprey

Thorup, K; Alerstam, Thomas LU ; Hake, M and Kjellén, Nils LU (2006) In Behavioral Ecology 17(3). p.497-502
Abstract
Although it is often assumed that birds strongly prefer tailwinds for their migratory flights, we predict that a strategy of no wind selectivity (traveling independently of winds) may be more favorable than wind selectivity (traveling on tailwind occasions but stopping to rest under headwind occasions) for birds with low energy costs of travel relative to rest and for birds that cannot use stopover time for efficient fuel deposition. We test this prediction by analyzing the daily traveling or stopping as recorded by satellite tracking of five ospreys Pandion haliaetus, a species often using energy-saving thermal soaring, during their migration between northern Europe and Africa. Besides wind, precipitation is another weather factor... (More)
Although it is often assumed that birds strongly prefer tailwinds for their migratory flights, we predict that a strategy of no wind selectivity (traveling independently of winds) may be more favorable than wind selectivity (traveling on tailwind occasions but stopping to rest under headwind occasions) for birds with low energy costs of travel relative to rest and for birds that cannot use stopover time for efficient fuel deposition. We test this prediction by analyzing the daily traveling or stopping as recorded by satellite tracking of five ospreys Pandion haliaetus, a species often using energy-saving thermal soaring, during their migration between northern Europe and Africa. Besides wind, precipitation is another weather factor included in the analyses because thermal soaring migrants are expected to stop and rest in rainy weather. In logistic regression analyses, taking into account the effects of latitude, behavior on previous day, season, date, and individual for discriminating between traveling and stopping days, we found a lack of influence of winds, suggesting that the ospreys travel or stop without regard to wind. This lack of wind selectivity under light and moderate winds is in agreement with our prediction. We expect a low degree of wind selectivity and thus regular flights under headwinds also among other types of birds that cannot use stopping time for efficient foraging and fuel deposition. We also found an unexpected lack of influence of precipitation, possibly because of relatively few instances with rainfall in combination with poor geographic precision for estimates of this weather variable. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
17
issue
3
pages
497 - 502
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • wos:000236819200023
  • scopus:33645709259
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/arj054
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b1de8ae6-a8e2-44c4-bd49-4e170cfbb1c2 (old id 159476)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 12:24:43
date last changed
2019-03-19 01:39:18
@article{b1de8ae6-a8e2-44c4-bd49-4e170cfbb1c2,
  abstract     = {Although it is often assumed that birds strongly prefer tailwinds for their migratory flights, we predict that a strategy of no wind selectivity (traveling independently of winds) may be more favorable than wind selectivity (traveling on tailwind occasions but stopping to rest under headwind occasions) for birds with low energy costs of travel relative to rest and for birds that cannot use stopover time for efficient fuel deposition. We test this prediction by analyzing the daily traveling or stopping as recorded by satellite tracking of five ospreys Pandion haliaetus, a species often using energy-saving thermal soaring, during their migration between northern Europe and Africa. Besides wind, precipitation is another weather factor included in the analyses because thermal soaring migrants are expected to stop and rest in rainy weather. In logistic regression analyses, taking into account the effects of latitude, behavior on previous day, season, date, and individual for discriminating between traveling and stopping days, we found a lack of influence of winds, suggesting that the ospreys travel or stop without regard to wind. This lack of wind selectivity under light and moderate winds is in agreement with our prediction. We expect a low degree of wind selectivity and thus regular flights under headwinds also among other types of birds that cannot use stopping time for efficient foraging and fuel deposition. We also found an unexpected lack of influence of precipitation, possibly because of relatively few instances with rainfall in combination with poor geographic precision for estimates of this weather variable.},
  author       = {Thorup, K and Alerstam, Thomas and Hake, M and Kjellén, Nils},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {497--502},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Traveling or stopping of migrating birds in relation to wind: an illustration for the osprey},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arj054},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2006},
}