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Title: Flight response of slope-soaring birds to seasonal variation in thermal generation

Author: Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Lanzone, Michael; Brandes, David; Cooper, Jeff; O'Malley, Kieran; Maisonneuve, Charles; Tremblay, Junior A.; Katzner, Todd.;

Date: 2014

Source: Functional Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12381.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Animals respond to a variety of environmental cues, including weather conditions, when migrating. Understanding the relationship between weather and migration behaviour is vital to assessing time- and energy limitations of soaring birds. Different soaring modes have different efficiencies, are dependent upon different types of subsidized lift and are weather dependent. We collected GPS locations from 47 known-age golden eagles that moved along 83 migration tracks. We paired each location with weather to determine meteorological correlates of migration during spring and fall as birds crossed three distinct ecoregions in north-east North America. Golden eagle migration was associated with weather conditions that promoted thermal development, regardless of season, ecoregion or age. Eagle migration showed age- and season-specific responses to weather conditions that promoted orographic lift.

Keywords: Aquila chrysaetos, energy-limited, golden eagle, migration, orographic lift, soaring, thermal lift, time-limited, weather

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Duerr, Adam E.; Miller, Tricia A.; Lanzone, Michael; Brandes, David; Cooper, Jeff; O'Malley, Kieran; Maisonneuve, Charles; Tremblay, Junior A.; Katzner, Todd. 2014. Flight response of slope-soaring birds to seasonal variation in thermal generation. Functional Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12381.

 


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