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Department of Biological Sciences

Jenny Linscott and her collaborators published a new article in Movement Ecology

Conditions encountered en route can dramatically impact the energy that migratory species spend on movement. Migratory birds often manage energetic costs by adjusting their behavior in relation to wind conditions as they fly. In their latest study titled "Compensation for wind drift prevails for a shorebird on a long-distance, transoceanic flight", Jennifer Linscott, Dr. Nathan Senner and their collaborators examined the marathon, transoceanic flight of an Arctic-breeding shorebird, the Hudsonian godwit.  They used satellite tracking devices to follow 25 Hudsonian godwits from 2019–2021 as they migrated northward across a largely transoceanic landscape extending > 7000 km from Chiloé Island, Chile to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Godwits making this flight have few or no opportunities to stop, and they traverse several global wind regimes that differ in directionality and strength along the way. Using several analyses, Jennifer discovered that fully compensating for wind displacement was a critical strategy for godwits making a transoceanic flight in order to minimize the risk of costly and perilous displacements. 

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