Document Detail

Ecological causes and consequences of bird orientation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1838516     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An advanced orientation capability offers possibilities for birds to optimize movement patterns in a wide variety of ecological situations. The adaptive significance of various patterns of angular dispersion and of orientation responses to topography and sociality are elucidated. The orientation capacity is characterized by flexibility, exemplified by reorientation, promoting safety and restoration of fat reserves during migration. There are also limitations to the orientation process, leading to costs of migration through mis- or disorientation, and to constraints on the evolution of routes and timing of migratory flights. Young migrants may acquire an erroneous compass sense, and misorient several thousands of kilometers off their normal course. Widespread and dense fog of long duration causes disorientation and mortality among land birds migrating over the sea. Orientational constraints in the evolution of migration routes may be most easily disclosed at high geographic and magnetic latitudes. Here the birds are faced with special difficulties in using their celestial as well as their magnetic compasses. The sun compass could be used for great circle orientation, but observed spring flight trajectories of high-arctic waders and geese seem to conform with rhumbline routes.
T Alerstam
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  EXS     Volume:  60     ISSN:  1023-294X     ISO Abbreviation:  EXS     Publication Date:  1991  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-03-20     Completed Date:  1992-03-20     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9204529     Medline TA:  EXS     Country:  SWITZERLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  202-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ecology, University of Lund, Sweden.
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MeSH Terms
Birds / physiology*
Social Behavior
Vision, Ocular

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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