Baden-Württemberg: pigeon taxi flies in the service of science

How do pigeons manage to orient themselves? Researchers have not yet found a definitive answer to this question.

Baden-Württemberg: pigeon taxi flies in the service of science

How do pigeons manage to orient themselves? Researchers have not yet found a definitive answer to this question. A special experiment on Lake Constance should help.

Radolfzell (dpa / lsw) - In order to better understand the sense of direction of pigeons, researchers at Lake Constance let the birds fly in a taxi. Michael Quetting, head of the research project at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Biology, said he had flown eight pigeons 20 times in an ultralight aircraft from Sauldorf (Sigmaringen district) to Radolfzell (Constance district). First, the SWR had reported.

In the coming weeks, the researchers want to find out whether the pigeons will find their way around the more than 20-kilometer route better than those who have never seen the route from the air. It is assumed that the animals memorize distinctive points in their surroundings. So far, however, science has not been able to definitively clarify whether this is really the reason why the birds can orientate themselves so well.

That is why the institute started such an experiment two years ago. With the renewed passage one wants to collect further data, said Quetting. The flight routes are to be recorded and compared with small transmitters in the coming weeks.

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