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Foraging Flight Characteristics of Wood Storks in East-Central Georgia, U.S.A.

A. Lawrence Bryan, Jr. and Malcolm C. Coulter
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 10, No. 2 (1987), pp. 157-161
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521254
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521254
Page Count: 5
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Foraging Flight Characteristics of Wood Storks in East-Central Georgia, U.S.A.
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Abstract

As part of a study of the foraging ecology of the Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) at the Birdsville colony in east-central Georgia, U.S.A., 130 storks were followed from the colony to foraging sites during the breeding seasons of 1984, 1985, and 1986. Direct distances and total flight times to foraging sites were not significantly different among years. Over 85% of the sites were within 20 km of the colony (x̄ = 12.7 ± sd 10.5 km) and over 80% of the flights lasted 50 min or less (x̄ = 34.6 ± sd 30.7 min). Within-season trends for site distance and flight time were significantly different only in 1984, when both were greater in the June-July period than in April-May. Predominantly soaring flights (>75% of flight) occurred more frequently than predominantly flapping flights (>75% of flight) in June-July of 1984 and 1986. The opposite trend occurred in 1985. Storks that soared predominantly went to more distant sites (x̄ = 15.8 ± sd 11.1 km) than those whose flights were predominantly flapping (x̄ = 8.3 ± sd 6.1 km). Orientations of feeding sites from the colony were significantly different each year; however, only the 1985 site orientations were non-uniform.

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