|Title||En route behavior of homing Herring Gulls as determined by radio-tracking|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1970|
|Journal||The Wilson Bulletin|
41 Herring Gulls were radio-tracked during homing trials. 29 radio-tracked gulls returned successfully, 18 of which were tracked during essentially all of their flight. Initial flight behaviors were classified as direct, delayed, and those involving "rest periods." The flight patterns of successful, unsuccessful, and delayed homers are discussed. Three factors contributed to slow homing rates: (1) flights in non-homeward directions; (2) long periods involving other than flight behavior; and (3) hesitancy to actually enter the colony upon return. Flight patterns of homing birds resenbled the theoretical search patterns described in the literature. There were apparent responses in relation to particular topographical features, some of which could be predicted in advance by observers. Gulls followed shorelines of lakes, a river basin on one occasion, and a terminal moraine. Landmarks apparently influenced the direction of Herring Gull flight and may have played a role in orientation.