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Bird Migration through a Mountain Pass Studied with High Resolution Radar, Ceilometers, and Census

Timothy C. Williams, Janet M. Williams, Peter G. Williams and Paul Stokstad
The Auk
Vol. 118, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 389-403
DOI: 10.2307/4089800
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4089800
Page Count: 15
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Bird Migration through a Mountain Pass Studied with High Resolution Radar, Ceilometers, and Census
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Abstract

Autumnal migration was studied with high-resolution radar, ceilometer, and daily census in the area of Franconia Notch, a major pass in the northern Appalachian Mountains. Under synoptic conditions favorable for migration, broadfront movements of migrants toward the south passed over the mountains, often above a temperature inversion. Birds at lower elevations appeared to be influenced by local topography. Birds moving southwest were concentrated along the face of the mountain range. Birds appeared to deviate their flights to follow local topography through the pass. Specific migratory behavior was not associated with species or species groups. Under synoptic conditions unfavorable for southward migration, multimodal movements probably associated with local flights were as dense as the southward migrations described above. Avian migrants reacting to local terrain may result in concentrations of migrants over ridge summits or other topographic features.

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