[FoRK] How homing pigeons navigate...

Dave Long dl at silcom.com
Mon Feb 9 08:26:47 PST 2004



> Yeah, they have an internal compass. But no, they
> don't use dead reckoning. They do something much
> more basic. "Head up I35 for about a 100nm, then
> hang a right on I30."

I bet racing pigeons are a little
less lazy about the ded. reckoning.
(then again, pigeon races are held
over far greater (5-25x) distances
than those studied)

[My wife agrees with the article:
she says racing pigeons climb and
circle at the release point until
they get their bearings, and then
take off, but closer to home they
use visual landmarks, and one can
improve results through training
the newbies with the experienced
birds, releasing them farther and
farther away from home, along the
expected return paths.

What's the visual horizon like, at
pigeon-flight altitude?]

-Dave

:: :: ::

>                        I've done a lot of commuting by
> air, including a non-stop from DFW to Japan. My own
> view is that at its best, it rises only to the tolerable.

Any FoRKs tried a Zeppelin NT yet?


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