PerspectiveEcology

Following the leader, for better or worse

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Science  25 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6391, pp. 852-853
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat7920

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Summary

White storks (Ciconia ciconia) are highly social birds that migrate thousands of kilometers each year between breeding locations in Europe and overwintering grounds in Africa. The birds migrate during the day in large, seemingly disorganized flocks and rely on thermals to power their flight (1). On page 911 of this issue, Flack et al. (2) provide a glimpse into the behavioral interactions that white storks use to exploit atmospheric thermals in a migratory flock.