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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.


This work is freely available courtesy of the Central Ornithology Publication Office, the American Ornithologists' Union, and University of California Press.

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