How is the weather during spring migration of white storks?
Rado Seminar by Isabel Jorzik
- Date: Sep 2, 2022
- Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
- Speaker: Isabel Jorzik
- Location: online
- Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Global weather conditions affect behavior of migrants in various ways and are often complex to measure and quantify. Furthermore, the environment the animals are exposed to changes depending on what time of the year they move. Large birds, including white storks (Ciconia ciconia), use soaring-gliding flight to minimize energy expenditure while also overcoming large distances. To compare fall and spring migration, I am using three-dimensional high-resolution GPS tracks to calculate flight characteristics and estimate wind conditions within thermal updrafts. I explored if there are differences in the weather conditions that young storks experienced between seasons and whether these affect fine scale flight behavior. My results show that thermal updrafts have the same uplift in both seasons but are more distorted by horizontal winds in spring. In addition, birds are also adopting a higher banking angle and a smaller circling radius. Analyzing animal movement data can be utilized to gather scarcely available information on weather conditions and helps to further investigate if migration behavior and weather effects differs between seasons.