Do release-site biases reflect response to the earth,s magnetic field during position-determination by homing pigeons?

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dc.contributor.author Mora, CV en
dc.contributor.author Walker, Michael en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-13T22:33:15Z en
dc.date.issued 2009 en
dc.identifier.citation Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 276(1671):3295-3302 22 Sep 2009 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/14251 en
dc.description.abstract How homing pigeons (Columba livia) return to their loft from distant, unfamiliar sites has long been a mystery. At many release sites, untreated birds consistently vanish from view in a direction different from the home direction, a phenomenon called the release-site bias. These deviations in flight direction have been implicated in the position determination (or map) step of navigation because they may reflect local distortions in information about location that the birds obtain from the geophysical environment at the release site. Here, we performed a post hoc analysis of the relationship between vanishing bearings and local variations in magnetic intensity using previously published datasets for pigeons homing to lofts in Germany. Vanishing bearings of both experienced and na1¨ve birds were strongly associated with magnetic intensity variations at release sites, with 90 per cent of bearings lying within +298 of the magnetic intensity slope or contour direction. Our results (i) demonstrate that pigeons respond in an orderly manner to the local structure of the magnetic field at release sites, (ii) provide a mechanism for the occurrence of release-site biases and (iii) suggest that pigeons may derive spatial information from the magnetic field at the release site that could be used to estimate their current position relative to their loft. en
dc.publisher The Royal Society Publishing en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B - Biological Sciences en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Details obtained from: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1471-2954/ en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Do release-site biases reflect response to the earth,s magnetic field during position-determination by homing pigeons? en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1098/rspb.2009.0872 en
pubs.begin-page 3295 en
pubs.volume 276 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Royal Society Publishing en
dc.identifier.pmid 19556255 en
pubs.end-page 3302 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 87639 en
dc.identifier.eissn 1471-2954 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2010-09-01 en
pubs.dimensions-id 19556255 en


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