Research Shows Homing Pigeons Use Smell As Guide

An Italian researcher has shown that pigeons rely on their sense of smell to navigate. It was previously thought that they used variations in the Earth’s magnetic field why flying home. The research involved denying some birds use of their olfactory nerves, while others had nerves linked to magnetic detection severed. The birds without ability to smell became lost while most of the other pigeons returned home from a distance of 30 miles. Read the full story Pigeons’ homing instinct is all down to smell in the Observer.

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2 Responses to Research Shows Homing Pigeons Use Smell As Guide

  1. julie fletcher says:

    we have a homing pigeon on board ship. he has been with us for 4 days now, and he is canadain. who do i call to give his band numbers to? this has happened before, and someone came to get his bird. we dont even know what to feed him…..can anyone help? we are on a 760 foot cargo ship loading coal now in the usa.

  2. Amy says:

    Julie, I found some information on caring for the pigeon on the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union website: http://www.crpu.ca/index.php?page=caringlost&pageid=55. It looks like the site also has a way to contact owners by entering in the bird’s band number.

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