During their seasonal migration, birds typically travel between breeding and non-breeding grounds along migratory routes grouped into major flyways, such as the Indo-European flyway between Europe and the Indian subcontinent. In a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography, investigators used modelling and tracking techniques to identify potential migratory barriers and corridors within the Indo-European flyway, as well as birds’ adaptive behaviors that help with navigation along the route.
Optimal wind and resource driven migration routes along the Indo‐European flyway are seasonally specific and to a large extend do not overlap with one another. Under these conditions, migratory birds adopt seasonally distinct migration strategies following energy minimization strategy in autumn, driven by resource availability, and time minimizing strategy in spring, driven by wind conditions. Our optimal migration models can be applied worldwide and used to validate against empirical data to explain large‐scale biogeographic pattern of migratory animals.