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Nocturnal migrating songbirds drift with crosswinds and compensate near coastal areas


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Using novel, recently developed techniques for analysis of Doppler polarimetric weather surveillance radar data, a University of Oklahoma team examined impediments (crosswinds and oceans) of nocturnally migrating songbirds in Eastern North America. Migrants in flight drifted sideways on crosswinds, but most strongly compensated for drift near the Atlantic coast. Coastal migrants' tendency to compensate for wind drift increased through the night, while no strong differences were observed at inlands sites. This behavior suggests birds adapt in flight and compensate for wind drift near coastal areas.


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