Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bird Migrations V-formations Studied at Length and Breadth

""Flying in a V-formation is toughest for the leader, and migrating birds compensate by taking turns so that no one gets exhausted, international researchers said Monday.
The authors of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a US peer-reviewed journal, described the discovery as the "first convincing evidence for 'turn taking' reciprocal cooperative behavior in birds."
The research is based on 14 northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), that migrate from Salzburg, Austria to Orbetello, Italy.

PHOTOS: Impressive Bird Flying Formations

Each bird wore a data-logging device that allowed scientists to track how individuals acted within the flying V-formation.
Researchers found that the "birds changed position frequently within the flock."
"Overall, individuals spent an average of 32 percent of their time benefiting by flying in the updraft produced by another bird's flapping wings and a proportional amount of time leading a formation," the study said.
Scientists believe this high level of cooperation evolved as a survival necessity.""

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