The rate of evaporative cooling was calculated from the rate of mass loss in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) during 90 min flights in a wind-tunnel. Evaporative heat loss ranged from 5% of the metabolic rate at −5 degrees C to 19% of the metabolic rate at 29 degrees C. Radiation and convection accounted for the balance of the heat loss. On average, starlings dehydrated during flights at all temperatures above 7 degrees C. The comparison of these results with data from field studies, which indicate that long-distance migrants do not dehydrate, suggests that migrants may maintain water balance by ascending to colder air in which convection carries off most of the heat produced.

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