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Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds

Hannah J. Williams, Andrew King Orcid Logo, Olivier Duriez, Luca Borger Orcid Logo, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

Journal of The Royal Society Interface, Volume: 15, Issue: 148, Start page: 20180578

Swansea University Authors: Andrew King Orcid Logo, Luca Borger Orcid Logo, Emily Shepard Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1098/rsif.2018.0578

Abstract

Vultures are thought to form networks in the sky, with individuals monitoring the movements of others to gain up-to-date information on resource availability. While it is recognised that social information facilitates the search for carrion, how this facilitates the search for updrafts, another crit...

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Published in: Journal of The Royal Society Interface
ISSN: 1742-5689 1742-5662
Published: 2018
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa44831
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spelling 2021-07-16T14:41:54.0098760 v2 44831 2018-10-10 Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds cc115b4bc4672840f960acc1cb078642 0000-0002-6870-9767 Andrew King Andrew King true false 8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2 0000-0001-8763-5997 Luca Borger Luca Borger true false 54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a 0000-0001-7325-6398 Emily Shepard Emily Shepard true false 2018-10-10 SBI Vultures are thought to form networks in the sky, with individuals monitoring the movements of others to gain up-to-date information on resource availability. While it is recognised that social information facilitates the search for carrion, how this facilitates the search for updrafts, another critical resource, remains unknown. In theory, birds could use information on updraft availability to modulate their flight speed, increasing their airspeed when informed on updraft location. In addition, the stylised circling behaviour associated with thermal soaring is likely to provide social cues on updraft availability for any bird operating in the surrounding area. We equipped five Gyps vultures with GPS and airspeed loggers to quantify the movements of birds flying in the same airspace. Birds that were socially informed on updraft availability immediately adopted higher airspeeds on entering the inter-thermal glide; a strategy that would be risky if birds were relying on personal information alone. This was embedded within a broader pattern of a reduction in airspeed (~3 m/s) through the glide, likely reflecting the need for low speed to sense and turn into the next thermal. Overall, this demonstrates, (i) the complexity of factors affecting speed selection over fine temporal scales, and (ii) that Gyps vultures respond to social information on the occurrence of energy in the aerial environment, which may reduce uncertainty in their movement decisions. Journal Article Journal of The Royal Society Interface 15 148 20180578 1742-5689 1742-5662 Flight, social information, movement ecology, aeroecology, airspeed, risk 7 11 2018 2018-11-07 10.1098/rsif.2018.0578 COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE SBI Swansea University 2021-07-16T14:41:54.0098760 2018-10-10T12:05:54.7027185 Faculty of Science and Engineering School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences Hannah J. Williams 1 Andrew King 0000-0002-6870-9767 2 Olivier Duriez 3 Luca Borger 0000-0001-8763-5997 4 Emily Shepard 0000-0001-7325-6398 5 0044831-10102018121350.pdf Williamsetal_Socialeavesdroppinginsoaringflight_2018.pdf 2018-10-10T12:13:50.0930000 Output 617952 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2018-11-07T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
spellingShingle Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
Andrew King
Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
title_short Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
title_full Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
title_fullStr Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
title_full_unstemmed Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
title_sort Social eavesdropping allows for a more risky gliding strategy by thermal-soaring birds
author_id_str_mv cc115b4bc4672840f960acc1cb078642
8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2
54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a
author_id_fullname_str_mv cc115b4bc4672840f960acc1cb078642_***_Andrew King
8416d0ffc3cccdad6e6d67a455e7c4a2_***_Luca Borger
54729295145aa1ea56d176818d51ed6a_***_Emily Shepard
author Andrew King
Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
author2 Hannah J. Williams
Andrew King
Olivier Duriez
Luca Borger
Emily Shepard
format Journal article
container_title Journal of The Royal Society Interface
container_volume 15
container_issue 148
container_start_page 20180578
publishDate 2018
institution Swansea University
issn 1742-5689
1742-5662
doi_str_mv 10.1098/rsif.2018.0578
college_str Faculty of Science and Engineering
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hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofscienceandengineering
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Science and Engineering
department_str School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Science and Engineering{{{_:::_}}}School of Biosciences, Geography and Physics - Biosciences
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description Vultures are thought to form networks in the sky, with individuals monitoring the movements of others to gain up-to-date information on resource availability. While it is recognised that social information facilitates the search for carrion, how this facilitates the search for updrafts, another critical resource, remains unknown. In theory, birds could use information on updraft availability to modulate their flight speed, increasing their airspeed when informed on updraft location. In addition, the stylised circling behaviour associated with thermal soaring is likely to provide social cues on updraft availability for any bird operating in the surrounding area. We equipped five Gyps vultures with GPS and airspeed loggers to quantify the movements of birds flying in the same airspace. Birds that were socially informed on updraft availability immediately adopted higher airspeeds on entering the inter-thermal glide; a strategy that would be risky if birds were relying on personal information alone. This was embedded within a broader pattern of a reduction in airspeed (~3 m/s) through the glide, likely reflecting the need for low speed to sense and turn into the next thermal. Overall, this demonstrates, (i) the complexity of factors affecting speed selection over fine temporal scales, and (ii) that Gyps vultures respond to social information on the occurrence of energy in the aerial environment, which may reduce uncertainty in their movement decisions.
published_date 2018-11-07T03:56:16Z
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