Energy saving in flight formation

@article{Weimerskirch2001EnergySI,
  title={Energy saving in flight formation},
  author={Henri Weimerskirch and Julien Martin and Yannick Clerquin and Peggy Alexandre and Sarka Jiraskova},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2001},
  volume={413},
  pages={697-698}
}
Many species of large bird fly together in formation, perhaps because flight power demands and energy expenditure can be reduced when the birds fly at an optimal spacing, or because orientation is improved by communication within groups. We have measured heart rates as an estimate of energy expenditure in imprinted great white pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) trained to fly in 'V' formation, and show that these birds save a significant amount of energy by flying in formation. This advantage is… 

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