Adaptive airspeed adjustment and compensation for wind drift in the common swift: differences between day and night

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Adaptive airspeed adjustment and compensation for wind drift in the common swift : differences between day and night. / Hedenström, Anders; Åkesson, Susanne.

I: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 127, 01.05.2017, s. 117-123.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Adaptive airspeed adjustment and compensation for wind drift in the common swift

T2 - The British Journal of Animal Behaviour

AU - Hedenström, Anders

AU - Åkesson, Susanne

PY - 2017/5/1

Y1 - 2017/5/1

N2 - Migratory birds are known to be capable of adjusting their heading direction to compensate for wind drift and their airspeed adaptively with respect to head and tail winds. High-flying nocturnally migrating common swifts, Apus apus, have been shown to compensate for wind drift, but they failed to adjust airspeed as expected (increase in head wind and decrease in tail wind in relation to neutral wind). We report on new measurements of diurnally migrating common swifts at a coastal site in the Baltic, where the birds did adjust airspeed adaptively during spring and autumn migration. During autumn migration, they compensated for lateral wind drift by adjusting heading direction similarly to high-altitude migrants in autumn. We also recorded flight speed and wind compensation during a summer weather-related exodus, when the birds behaved similarly to those during autumn migration, although they showed a small degree of wind drift. Why birds failed to adjust airspeed adaptively at high altitude is discussed, and we argue there is a threshold in the sensory system to detect small changes in optic flow based on visual landmarks.

AB - Migratory birds are known to be capable of adjusting their heading direction to compensate for wind drift and their airspeed adaptively with respect to head and tail winds. High-flying nocturnally migrating common swifts, Apus apus, have been shown to compensate for wind drift, but they failed to adjust airspeed as expected (increase in head wind and decrease in tail wind in relation to neutral wind). We report on new measurements of diurnally migrating common swifts at a coastal site in the Baltic, where the birds did adjust airspeed adaptively during spring and autumn migration. During autumn migration, they compensated for lateral wind drift by adjusting heading direction similarly to high-altitude migrants in autumn. We also recorded flight speed and wind compensation during a summer weather-related exodus, when the birds behaved similarly to those during autumn migration, although they showed a small degree of wind drift. Why birds failed to adjust airspeed adaptively at high altitude is discussed, and we argue there is a threshold in the sensory system to detect small changes in optic flow based on visual landmarks.

KW - airspeed

KW - Apus apus

KW - migration

KW - optic flow

KW - visual constraint

KW - weather movement

KW - wind compensation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85017001684&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.03.010

DO - 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.03.010

M3 - Article

VL - 127

SP - 117

EP - 123

JO - The British Journal of Animal Behaviour

JF - The British Journal of Animal Behaviour

SN - 1095-8282

ER -