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Is there a different response to winds during migration between soaring and flapping raptors? An example with the Montagu’s harrier and the lesser kestrel

AuthorsLimiñana, Rubén ; Romero, Marta; Mellone, Ugo; Urios, Vicente
KeywordsCircus pygargus
Falco naumanni
Flight modes
Nocturnal migration
Satellite telemetry
Wind drift
Issue Date2013
CitationBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 6785): 823-835 (2013)
AbstractDuring migrations, birds have to cope with varying meteorological conditions, which shape their migratory routes and affect their performance. Amongst these, wind is the main meteorological agent influencing behaviour of birds in their migration journeys. Here we analyze the effect of winds during migrations of adult individuals of two raptor species tracked with satellite telemetry, the Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus) and the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni). While harriers use mostly soaring flight, kestrels principally use flapping flight and thus, wind can differently affect these birds. We found that both forward and perpendicular winds significantly affected the movements of the Montagu’s harrier, which were drifted from their intended direction but also took advantage of tailwinds. On the contrary, lesser kestrels moved more regardless of forward winds, despite they were highly drifted by crosswinds. Our results also support that the drifting effect of winds at the onset of the spring migration may explain the loop migration observed for both species, with birds compensating later the effect of crosswinds to arrive to their breeding areas. Results presented here illustrate how winds can differently affect migrating birds according to their flight modes.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-013-1506-9
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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