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Title: Gadfly petrels use knowledge of the windscape, not memorized foraging patches, to optimize foraging trips on ocean-wide scales
Authors: Ventura, Francesco
Granadeiro, José Pedro 
Padget, Oliver
Catry, Paulo 
Keywords: Pterodroma; Flight behaviour; Optimization; Seabird; State-space model; Wind
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: The Royal Society
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/PTDC/MAR-PRO/0929/2014/OCEANWEBS 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/PTDC/ BIA-EVL/28565/2017/OCEANTREE 
info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/UID/ MAR/04292/2019/MARE 
Serial title, monograph or event: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume: 287
Issue: 1918
Abstract: Seabirds must often travel vast distances to exploit heterogeneously distributed oceanic resources, but how routes and destinations of foraging trips are optimized remains poorly understood. Among the seabirds, gadfly petrels (Pterodroma spp.) are supremely adapted for making efficient use of wind energy in dynamic soaring flight. We used GPS tracking data to investigate the role of wind in the flight behaviour and foraging strategy of the Desertas petrel, Pterodroma deserta. We found that rather than visiting foraging hotspots, Desertas petrels maximize prey encounter by covering some of the longest distances known in any animal in a single foraging trip (up to 12 000 km) over deep, pelagic waters. Petrels flew with consistent crosswind (relative wind angle 60°), close to that which maximizes their groundspeed. By combining state-space modelling with a series of comparisons to simulated foraging trips (reshuffled-random, rotated, time-shifted, reversed), we show that this resulted in trajectories that were close to the fastest possible, given the location and time. This wind use is thus consistent both with birds using current winds to fine-tune their routes and, impressively, with an a priori knowledge of predictable regional-scale wind regimes, facilitating efficient flight over great distances before returning to the home colony.
ISSN: 0962-8452
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.1775
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D MARE - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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