Seasonal differences in migration patterns of a soaring bird in relation to environmental conditions: a multi-scale approach

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Title: Seasonal differences in migration patterns of a soaring bird in relation to environmental conditions: a multi-scale approach
Authors: Mellone, Ugo | Puente, Javier de la | López-López, Pascual | Limiñana, Rubén | Bermejo, Ana | Urios, Vicente
Research Group/s: Zoología de Vertebrados
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Didáctica General y Didácticas Específicas | Universidad de Alicante. Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad
Keywords: Raptors | Wind | GPS satellite telemetry | Sahara | Flight | Aquila pennata
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Citation: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2015, 69(1): 75-82. doi:10.1007/s00265-014-1818-4
Abstract: Many studies suggest that migratory birds are expected to travel more quickly during spring, when they are en route to the breeding grounds, in order to ensure a high-quality territory. Using data recorded by means of Global Positioning System satellite tags, we analysed at three temporal scales (hourly, daily and overall journey) seasonal differences in migratory performance of the booted eagle (Aquila pennata), a soaring raptor migrating between Europe and tropical Africa, taking into account environmental conditions such as wind, thermal uplift and day length. Unexpectedly, booted eagles showed higher travel rates (hourly speed, daily distance, overall migration speed and overall straightness) during autumn, even controlling for abiotic factors, probably thanks to higher hourly speeds, more straight routes and less non-travelling days during autumn. Tailwinds were the main environmental factor affecting daily distance. During spring, booted eagles migrated more quickly when flying over the Sahara desert. Our results raise new questions about which ecological and behavioural reasons promote such unexpected faster speeds in autumn and not during spring and how events occurring in very different regions can affect migratory performance, interacting with landscape characteristics, weather conditions and flight behaviour.
Sponsor: All information about tagged Eagles has been obtained in the framework of the ‘Migra’ project ( developed by SEO/BirdLife and financed by Iberdrola Foundation. PL-L is supported by a ‘Juan de la Cierva’ postdoctoral grant of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (reference JCI-2011-09588).
ISSN: 0340-5443 (Print) | 1432-0762 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s00265-014-1818-4
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014. The final publication is available at Springer via
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - ZV - Artículos Científicos

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