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Int J Biometeorol. 2002 Sep;46(4):192-6. Epub 2002 Jun 4.

Influences of wind flow on stopover decisions: the case of the reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus in the Western Mediterranean.

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Departamento de Geografia FĂ­sica, Facultad de Geografia, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain.


Wind directions measured at two different heights (850 hPa and 700 hPa) and at different hours of the night were analysed during the spring migration passage at a bird stopover site located in the western Mediterranean, in order to evaluate the importance of wind components for a stopover decision. From a huge ringing campaign of bird migration in north-east Spain, data from the reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus have been used for the analysis. From a total of 2,478 reed warblers captured between 1993 and 1997 data recording significant days, with a high number of captures, and decrease days, with few captures, have been selected to develop an analysis of wind direction in relation to stopover and flight resumption. On days with a high capture the winds had mainly a fourth-quadrant flow (from the north, north-west and west), these being mainly head winds. Winds with westerly component (from the north-west, west and south-west), which enhance the flight, account for the majority of the days when there was a low capture of reed warblers. Wind direction therefore appears to be a determining factor for stopover decisions and resumption of flight for the reed warblers at an intermediate stage of their spring migration where topographical characteristics govern the winds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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