1/6 #ISTC20 #Sesh8
Knowing where (how high) birds fly in the air is important in this changing world. Because we have windfarms, airplanes, and tall buildings, all of which have the potential to impact the flight altitude of avian migrants. #ornithology #ClimateChange
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R.Q: What are the important drivers for flight altitude selection of avian migrants?

Studies (radar) suggest migrants select flight altitude to maximise wind support. However, a few have taken a quantitative approach. So, we tested these 4 hypothesis:
3/6 #ISTC20 #Sesh8
To test these hypotheses we used the GSM-GPS tracking data of far eastern curlew and whimbrel.

We compared weather conditions of altitude bins at which birds migrated with other altitude bins that birds did not choose to migrate, using 'coxph' model.
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Results indicate 1. These #shorebirds fly at low altitudes to reduce climbing cost & water loss. 2. They try to fly at altitude with wind support to reduce energy & time costs. 3. They avoid clouds by flying below in order to increase their visibility.
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As these migrants mainly fly at low altitudes, a proper evaluation is needed for future development plans (i.e. wind farms) with respect to avian migration.
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We need tracking data for other species to see if the observed pattern applies to other #shorebirds.

Thank you! @vwsg_web @alilleyman @Zhijun_Ma

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