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How do birds orient over familiar terrain? In the best studied avian species, the homing pigeon (Columba livia), two apparently independent primary mechanisms are currently debated: either memorized visual landmarks provide homeward guidance directly, or birds rely on a compass to home from familiar locations. Using miniature Global Positioning System(More)
Wide-ranging animals, such as birds, regularly traverse large areas of the landscape efficiently in the course of their local movement patterns, which raises fundamental questions about the cognitive mechanisms involved. By using precision global-positioning-system loggers, we show that homing pigeons (Columba livia) not only come to rely on highly(More)
The mechanisms used by homing pigeons (Columba livia) to navigate homeward from distant sites have been well studied, yet the mechanisms underlying navigation within, and mapping of, the local familiar area have been largely neglected. In the local area pigeons pote ntially have access to a powerful navigational aid--a memorized landscape map. Current(More)
Pigeons home along idiosyncratic habitual routes from familiar locations. It has been suggested that memorized visual landmarks underpin this route learning. However, the inability to experimentally alter the landscape on large scales has hindered the discovery of the particular features to which birds attend. Here, we present a method for objectively(More)
A central problem faced by animals traveling in groups is how navigational decisions by group members are integrated, especially when members cannot assess which individuals are best informed or have conflicting information or interests . Pigeons are now known to recapitulate faithfully their individually distinct habitual routes home , and this provides a(More)
The migratory movements of seabirds (especially smaller species) remain poorly understood, despite their role as harvesters of marine ecosystems on a global scale and their potential as indicators of ocean health. Here we report a successful attempt, using miniature archival light loggers (geolocators), to elucidate the migratory behaviour of the Manx(More)
The sun has long been thought to guide bird navigation as the second step in a two-stage process, in which determining position using a map is followed by course setting using a compass, both over unfamiliar and familiar terrain. The animal's endogenous clock time-compensates the solar compass for the sun's apparent movement throughout the day, and this(More)
This study brings together work in pattern recognition and animal behaviour. By applying algorithms in pattern recognition, we examined how visual landscape information influences pigeons' homing behaviour. We used an automated procedure (Canny edge detector) to extract edges from an aerial image of the experimental terrain. Analysis of pigeons' homing(More)
Observations of the flight paths of pigeons navigating from familiar locations have shown that these birds are able to learn and subsequently follow habitual routes home. It has been suggested that navigation along these routes is based on the recognition of memorized visual landmarks. Previous research has identified the effect of landmarks on flight path(More)
Flight dynamics theories are influenced by two major topics: how birds adapt their flight to cope with heterogeneous habitats, and whether birds plan to use the wind field or simply experience it. The aim of this study was to understand the flight dynamics of free-flying Cory's shearwaters in relation to the wind characteristics on the coastal upwelling(More)