By Hans G. Wallraff
How migratory birds can navigate domestic from their wintering grounds to their breeding websites over hundreds and hundreds and millions of kilometres has been an popular secret over greater than a century. Profound advances in the direction of an answer of this challenge were accomplished with a version chook, the homing pigeon. This monograph summarizes our present wisdom approximately pigeon homing, in regards to the birds' software of a sunlight compass and a magnetic compass, of a visible topographical map inside of a well-known quarter and -- such a lot strangely -- of an olfactory map utilizing atmospheric chemosignals as symptoms of place in far-off surprising areas.
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Extra resources for Avian Navigation: Pigeon Homing as a Paradigm
Do the animals not do it better, although they were able to do it better? Are the animals unable to evaluate the navigational signals provided by the environment in an optimal way? Or are these signals themselves so noisy that even an optimal mechanism cannot gain better performances? It is clear that, at least in inexperienced pigeons, some source of noise is inherent in the animals. There are ‘good birds’ and ‘poor birds’, and a noticeable deal of the differences among individuals apparently concerns the motivation to home rather than the navigational ability (Sect.
A Home loft at Andechs near Munich, Germany; B home loft at Ospedaletto near Pisa, Italy. (Data from Foà et al. 1984) dency to fly westward may have been stronger than the tendency to fly homeward. A decision on whether or not the pigeons’ vanishing bearings reveal some knowledge about the direction of home at all can only be achieved by summarizing a number of releases conducted at symmetrically distributed sites (Fig. 4, diagram ‘Home’). It is obvious that a loft-specific preferred compass direction (PCD), as resulting from the data in Fig.
2; Kiepenheuer 1993). 4 Accuracy of Homeward Orientation 45 n Fig. 21. Influence of human settlements (filled symbols) and wooded areas (open symbols) on vanishing bearings of pigeons released at 28 sites around their loft near Würzburg. Ordinate indicates the mean proportional difference between frequency of respective landmarks at a given distance and frequency of pigeons vanishing in the direction of such landmarks. Plus means more and minus fewer birds than expected in flights not influenced by topographical features.
Avian Navigation: Pigeon Homing as a Paradigm by Hans G. Wallraff