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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2012, Article ID 187102, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/187102
Research Article

Influence of Local Wind Conditions on the Flight Speed of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo

1Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
2International Coastal Research Center, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8564, Japan
3Faculty of Agriculture, Meijo University, 1-501 Shiogamaguchi, Tenpaku-ku, Nagoya 468-9502, Japan

Received 13 June 2012; Revised 3 August 2012; Accepted 14 November 2012

Academic Editor: Inma Estevez

Copyright © 2012 Ken Yoda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In seabirds, the relationship between flight speed and wind direction/speed is thought to be particularly important for studying energy-saving strategy and foraging habitat selection. In this study, we examined whether the ground and calculated air speeds of four great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) were affected by wind conditions using high-resolution GPS data loggers. The birds increased their ground flight speed in tailwinds, decreased it in headwinds, and changed their air speed in relation to wind components. However, they did not change their foraging sites according to the wind conditions. They were likely to respond to moderate wind conditions by adjusting their air speed without changing their foraging sites.