The effect of wind, season and latitude on the migration speed of white storks Ciconia ciconia, along the eastern migration route

Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Anat Baharad, Pinhas Alpert, Peter Berthold, Yoram Yom-Tov, Yoav Dvir, Yossi Leshem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The relation between wind, latitude and daily migration speed along the entire migration route of white storks was analysed. Mean daily migration speed was calculated using satellite telemetry data for autumn and spring migration of white storks from their breeding grounds in Germany and Poland to wintering grounds in Africa and back. The National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data were used to systematically fit 850 mb wind vectors to daily migration speed along the migration route. White storks migrated significantly faster and had a shorter migration season in autumn (10 km/h) compared to spring (6.4 km/h). In autumn mean daily migration speed was significantly slower in Europe (8.0 km/h) than in the Middle East (11.1 km/h) and Africa (11.0 km/h). In spring mean daily migration speed was significantly faster in Africa (10.5 km/h) as birds left their wintering grounds than in the Middle East (4.3 km/h). Migration speed then increased in Europe (6.5 km/h) as birds approached their breeding grounds. In both spring and autumn tailwind (at 850mb) and latitude were found to be significant variables related to daily migration speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

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