Data from: Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air

Sherub S, Wikelski M, Fiedler W, Davidson SC. 2016. Data from: Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air. Movebank Data Repository.
Soaring raptors can fly at high altitudes of up to 9000 m. The behavioural adjustments to high-altitude flights are largely unknown. We studied thermal- ling flights of Himalayan vultures (Gyps himalayensis) from 50 to 6500 m above sea level, a twofold range of air densities. To create the necessary lift to support the same weight and maintain soaring flight in thin air birds might modify lift coefficient by biophysical changes, such as wing posture and increasing the power expenditure. Alternatively, they can change their flight characteristics. We show that vultures use the latter and increase circle radius by 35% and airspeed by 21% over their flight altitude range. These simple behavioural adjustments enable vultures to move seamlessly during their annual migrations over the Himalaya without increasing energy output to flight in high elevations.
Gyps himalayensis,animal movement,animal tracking,avian migration,Env-DATA,GSM telemetry,Gyps himalayensis,Himalayan vulture,Movebank,non-powered flight,thermalling
Gyps himalayensis
Himalayan Vulture
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Data from: Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air},
  author = {Sherub, S and Wikelski, M and Fiedler, W and Davidson, SC},
  year = {2016},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.143v2p2k},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.143v2p2k
T1  - Data from: Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air
AU  - Sherub, Sherub
AU  - Wikelski, Martin
AU  - Fiedler, Wolfgang
AU  - Davidson, Sarah C.
Y1  - 2016/10/24
KW  - Gyps himalayensis
KW  - aerodynamic
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - avian migration
KW  - Env-DATA
KW  - GSM telemetry
KW  - Gyps himalayensis
KW  - Himalayan vulture
KW  - Movebank
KW  - non-powered flight
KW  - thermalling
KW  - Gyps himalayensis
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.143v2p2k
ER  -