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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 1971; 68(1): 102–106.
PMCID: PMC391171

Magnets Interfere with Pigeon Homing

Abstract

Magnets glued to the backs of experienced pigeons often resulted in disorientation when the birds were released from distances of 17-31 miles (27-50 km) under total overcast, whereas no such disorientation occurred during similar releases under clear skies. The magnets did, however, often cause disorientation when first-flight birds were released under sun, and there was some indication of disturbance to experienced pigeons released under sun at longer distances.

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Selected References

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  • Orgel AR, Smith JC. Test of the Magnetic Theory of Homing. Science. 1954 Nov 26;120(3126):891–892. [PubMed]
  • Riper WV, Kalmbach ER. Homing Not Hindered by Wing Magnets. Science. 1952 May 23;115(2995):577–578. [PubMed]
  • ELDAROV AL, KHOLODOV Iu A. VLIIANIE POSTOIANNOGO MAGNITNOGO POLIA NA DVIGATEL'NUIU AKTIVNOST' PTITS. Zh Obshch Biol. 1964 May-Jun;25:224–229. [PubMed]
  • Keeton WT. Orientation by pigeons: is the sun necessary? Science. 1969 Aug 29;165(3896):922–928. [PubMed]
  • Keeton WT, Gobert A. Orientation by untrained pigeons requires the sun. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1970 Apr;65(4):853–856. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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