While the navigational skills of birds remain largely unexplained, the theory that they use the magnetic field of the earth to some degree to map their positions is generally accepted. The magnetic field of the earth is weakest at the equator, becoming stronger toward the north and south poles. This change in magnetic strength may give birds an estimate of their latitude while in flight. This amazing ability to navigate is especially evident in homing pigeons which are able to find their way home over distances of as much as 1,100 miles…
The theory that navigational skills in some birds may be influenced by iron particles in their beaks reacting to the magnetic field of the earth, has recently been refuted by scientists at Vienna’s Institute of Molecular Pathology.
Nature not only surrounds us with sheer beauty but also offers an abundance of fascinating new discoveries that continue to amaze us. Just when we think we know everything about an animal or bird, they seem to prove us wrong. More recently, birds have revealed that crests and beards are not merely used for finding a mate, but serve a greater purpose, allowing them to explore their surroundings as well. Research on birds, such as the auklet, has opened up a new door into the world of birds and their feathers.
For decades scientists have been puzzling over an intriguing wildlife mystery: how is it that birds navigate? Each year thousands of these feathered creatures make massive journeys halfway around the globe â€“ yet exactly how they find their way to their destinations each year just boggles the mind.