Flying, fasting, and feeding in birds during migration: a nutritional and physiological ecology perspective

McWilliams, Scott R., Guglielmo, Christopher, Pierce, Barbara and Klaassen, Marcel 2004, Flying, fasting, and feeding in birds during migration: a nutritional and physiological ecology perspective, Journal of avian biology, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 377-393, doi: 10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03378.x.

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Title Flying, fasting, and feeding in birds during migration: a nutritional and physiological ecology perspective
Author(s) McWilliams, Scott R.
Guglielmo, Christopher
Pierce, Barbara
Klaassen, MarcelORCID iD for Klaassen, Marcel
Journal name Journal of avian biology
Volume number 35
Issue number 5
Start page 377
End page 393
Total pages 17
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2004-09
ISSN 0908-8857
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Summary Unlike exercising mammals, migratory birds fuel very high intensity exercise (e.g., flight) with fatty acids delivered from the adipose tissue to the working muscles by the circulatory system. Given the primary importance of fatty acids for fueling intense exercise, we discuss the likely limiting steps in lipid transport and oxidation for exercising birds and the ecological factors that affect the quality and quantity of fat stored in wild birds. Most stored lipids in migratory birds are comprised of three fatty acids (16:0, 18:1 and 18:2) even though migratory birds have diverse food habits. Diet selection and selective metabolism of lipids play important roles in determining the fatty acid composition of birds which, in turn, affects energetic performance during intense exercise. As such, migratory birds offer an intriguing model for studying the implications of lipid metabolism and obesity on exercise performance. We conclude with a discussion of the energetic costs of migratory flight and stopover in birds, and its implications for bird migration strategies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03378.x
Field of Research 060603 Animal Physiology - Systems
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2004, Journal of Avian Biology
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