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Orientation and long-distance migration routes: an attempt to evaluate compass cue limitations and required precision

Publiceringsår: 1998
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 626-636
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Avian Biology1994-01-01+01:00
Volym: 29
Nummer: 4
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd


By computers imulationso f differentf lightr outesf or springm igratingK nots Calidris

canutusp, otentialo rientationa'ld angerz ones' werer evealedi n the equatora rea and

northo f the Arcticc ircle.A n evaluationo f the availabilityo f directionailn formation

duringm igratoryf lightsd emonstratedth e potentialh azardso f crossingt hese danger

zones. Investigationso f the directionalc onsequenceso f sun compass orientation

based upon an internalc lock in phase with local time at the departures ite showed

that such a mechanism would entail serious losses in distance and time. A simple

compensatingr uleb asedo n the rateo f changei n sun altitudew as foundt o workw ell

both at polar latitudes and in the equator area. The magnetic compass will become

inoperativec lose to the magnetice quatora nd the poles, thus restrictingth e availability

of directional information. Orientation by stellar cues will become impossible

during spring and summer at arctic latitudes. Simulations of potential migratory

routesa lso enablede xaminationo f the requiredp recisiono f compasss ystemsa nd it

was indicatedt hat necessaryo rientationa ccuracyr equiresm ore than one directional

selectionp er long-distancef light to ensure survival.I t is concludedt hat computer

simulations of flight tracks, based on ringing recoveries, visual observations, radar

studies and satellite telemetry may be a powerful tool helping to identify problems

which require future experimental attention.


  • Ecology
  • Probability Theory and Statistics


  • ISSN: 0908-8857

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