Sea crossing as a major determinant for the evolution of migratory strategies in soaring birds. Mellone, U. Journal of Animal Ecology, 89(6):1298-1301, 2020.
abstract   bibtex   
In Focus: Santos, C. D., Silva, J. P., Muñoz, A.-R., Onrubia, A., & Wikelski, M. (2020). The gateway to Africa: What determines sea crossing performance of a migratory soaring bird at the strait of Gibraltar? Journal of Animal Ecology, 89, 1317–1328. Migrating birds undertake long journeys which pose several challenges. Water bodies are the most demanding ecological barriers for soaring birds, due to the increase in energy consumption and mortality risk. Through high-resolution GPS, Santos et al. (2020), analysed how the flight performance of 73 black kites crossing the Strait of Gibraltar was affected by external (e.g. weather conditions) and internal factors (individual experience). Kites waited for weaker crosswinds to start the crossing to minimize energy consumption, drift and altitude loss. Moreover, adults were quicker and lost less altitude than juveniles. These processes are likely to occur in all soaring species and have consequences also at a much wider spatial scale. In the Mediterranean region, species- and population-specific migration strategies appear to be influenced by interactions between species' morphology and the distribution of the land masses they traverse.
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 title = {Sea crossing as a major determinant for the evolution of migratory strategies in soaring birds},
 type = {article},
 year = {2020},
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 keywords = {carry-over effects,detour,ecological barriers,flight style,migration,mortality risk,sea crossing,thermals},
 pages = {1298-1301},
 volume = {89},
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 abstract = {In Focus: Santos, C. D., Silva, J. P., Muñoz, A.-R., Onrubia, A., & Wikelski, M. (2020). The gateway to Africa: What determines sea crossing performance of a migratory soaring bird at the strait of Gibraltar? Journal of Animal Ecology, 89, 1317–1328. Migrating birds undertake long journeys which pose several challenges. Water bodies are the most demanding ecological barriers for soaring birds, due to the increase in energy consumption and mortality risk. Through high-resolution GPS, Santos et al. (2020), analysed how the flight performance of 73 black kites crossing the Strait of Gibraltar was affected by external (e.g. weather conditions) and internal factors (individual experience). Kites waited for weaker crosswinds to start the crossing to minimize energy consumption, drift and altitude loss. Moreover, adults were quicker and lost less altitude than juveniles. These processes are likely to occur in all soaring species and have consequences also at a much wider spatial scale. In the Mediterranean region, species- and population-specific migration strategies appear to be influenced by interactions between species' morphology and the distribution of the land masses they traverse.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Mellone, Ugo},
 journal = {Journal of Animal Ecology},
 number = {6}
}
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