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Flying is an energy demanding activity that imposes several physiological challenges on birds, such as increase in energy expenditure. Evidence from sports medicine shows that exhausting exercise may cause oxidative stress. Studies on avian flight have so far considered several blood parameters, such as uric acid, corticosteroids, or circulating free fatty(More)
BACKGROUND GPS analysis of flight trajectories of pigeons can reveal that topographic features influence their flight paths. Recording electrical brain activity that reflects attentional processing could indicate objects of interest that do not cause changes in the flight path. Therefore, we investigated whether crossing particular visual landmarks when(More)
Flight experience is one of the factors that influences initial orientation of displaced homing pigeons (Columba livia). Prior studies showed a systematic dependence of initial orientation on previously flown direction. Using GPS data loggers, this study sought to examine the effect of previous directional training of 40 homing pigeons when they were(More)
When performing homing experiments with individual releases, pigeons have to wait in a transport box for a certain amount of time before being released and hence perceive the departure of companions. Quite often, the last pigeons disappear straightforward from the release site. The question is whether this reflects improved orientation because of prolonged(More)
Olfactory cues have been shown to be important to homing petrels at night, but apparently those procellariiform species that also come back to the colony during the day are not impaired by smell deprivation. However, the nycthemeral distribution of homing, i.e. whether displaced birds released at night return to their burrow by night or during daylight, has(More)
Many procellariiforms use olfactory cues to locate food patches over the seemingly featureless ocean surface. In particular, some of them are able to detect and are attracted by dimethylsulphide (DMS), a volatile compound naturally occurring over worldwide oceans in correspondence with productive feeding areas. However, current knowledge is restricted to(More)
Homing pigeons (Columba livia) are believed to adopt a map-and-compass strategy to find their way home. Surprisingly, to date a clear demonstration of the use of a cognitive map in free-flight experiments is missing. In this study, we investigated whether homing pigeons use a mental map in which - at an unknown release site - their own position, the home(More)
In their recent paper, Savoca and collaborators (2016) showed that plastic debris in the ocean may acquire a dimethyl sulfide (DMS) signature from biofouling developing on their surface. According to them, DMS emission may represent an olfactory trap for foraging seabirds, which explains patterns of plastic ingestion among procellariiform seabirds. This(More)
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