By Hans G. Wallraff
How migratory birds can navigate domestic from their wintering grounds to their breeding websites over hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of kilometres has been an in demand secret over greater than a century. Profound advances in the direction of an answer of this challenge were completed with a version poultry, the homing pigeon. This monograph summarizes our present wisdom approximately pigeon homing, in regards to the birds' program of a sunlight compass and a magnetic compass, of a visible topographical map inside of a well-recognized sector and -- so much strangely -- of an olfactory map utilizing atmospheric chemosignals as symptoms of place in far-off unexpected areas.
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Additional resources for Avian Navigation: Pigeon Homing as a Paradigm
It is unknown whether the directional shift by about 35°, as shown in Fig. 9, expresses a meaningful systematic change. In these 44 simultaneous experiments with both inexperienced and experienced pigeons, the mean homeward component as well as the return rate were higher in the veterans over the whole range of distances used (Fig. 10). While there was no clear correlation with distance in initial orientation, homing success decreased drastically with distance in the first-flight birds (see also Fig.
To cover the whole annual cycle with more data, it was necessary to compensate for these other variations by some standardization procedures (Wallraff 1959b). Then it turned out that homing performance exhibits a clear annual periodicity with a maximum in late summer and a minimum in winter, which is closely correlated with ambient temperature (Fig. 17). At least two causes appear possible: some seasonal influences may act either (1) on the pigeon’s physiological/motivational state or (2) on the environmental conditions that are necessary for home-finding.
14B). However, in the meantime, the group had been divided into two subsamples partly homing from different sites. Although the overall pattern of bearings remained similar to the first release, the birds were differently distributed within this pattern according to their previous homing directions. In other experiments using third-flight birds whose first and second flights had been from opposite directions, significant deviations in favour of the compass direction of the second flight were observed (Wallraff and Sinsch, unpubl.
Avian Navigation: Pigeon Homing as a Paradigm by Hans G. Wallraff