Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

How Wandering Albatrosses use weather systems to fly long distances. 1. An analytical method and its application to flights in the Tasman Sea

M. D. Murray, D. G. Nicholls, E. Butcher and P. J. Moors

Emu 102(4) 377 - 385
Published: 06 December 2002


Rigorous analytical procedures for appraising how Wandering Albatrosses, Diomedea exulans gibsoni, use weather systems to achieve long-distance flights are described. They were applied initially to study the movements of two Wandering Albatrosses in the Tasman Sea where weather systems, though complex, display many of the general features found in the Southern Hemisphere between 30° and 50°S. It was found that no flight can be explained as a passive response to wind, as all flights revealed an 'intent' to fly in a given direction for at least several hundred kilometres, even through complex weather systems.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 2002

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