Does a roosting flock of migratory birds also echelon in high winds?

Anshuman Bhardwaj* (Corresponding Author), Lydia Sam

*Corresponding author for this work

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The organized aerial manoeuvres of birds in “V” and “J” flock echelons have always captivated onlookers and several of these aspects are still a matter of ongoing research. However, we could not find any published evidence or report on echeloning in a roosting flock of birds in high wind conditions. Here, we provide first evidence of an echelon in a roosting flock of the Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus ostralegus) at the onset of Storm Malik in Scotland on the morning of the 29th of January 2022, under ~ 11 ms−1 winds. This observation opens-up several new research questions on if, how, and why birds position themselves in a flock while roosting in high winds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291–296
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of ethology
Early online date23 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

We thank the Editor-in-Chief Prof. Kensuke Nakata and the two reviewers for their time and useful suggestions during the review process.

This study has not received any funding.


  • Bird flock
  • Cluster formation
  • Flock echelon
  • Eurasian oystercatcher
  • Haematopus ostralegus ostralegus
  • High winds
  • Storm Malik


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