Atmospheric Structure and Avian Migration

  • Paul Kerlinger
  • Frank R. Moore
Part of the Current Ornithology book series (CUOR, volume 6)


Why do some birds migrate during daytime and others at night? Why do some fly at high altitudes and others at lower altitudes? Whereas no comprehensive explanation of the diel schedule and altitude of migration has been proposed, several hypotheses have been advanced to explain nocturnal migration. These hypotheses focus on the need to forage during daylight (Brewster, 1886; Palmgren, 1949; Dorst, 1962), on predator avoidance (Lincoln, 1952), and on avoidance of atmospheric turbulence (Nisbet, 1955; Raynor, 1956; Bellrose, 1967). In addition, some authorities have suggested that the daily timing of migration is related to dietary habits or mode of migratory flight (Dorst, 1962; Baker, 1978). We argue that the diel schedule and altitude of bird migration have evolved in response to predictable variations in the structure of the atmosphere during its daily cycle.


Bird Migration Thermal Convection Horizontal Wind Spring Migration Autumn Migration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Kerlinger
    • 1
  • Frank R. Moore
    • 2
  1. 1.Cape May Bird ObservatoryCape May PointUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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