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Magnetic information calibrates celestial cues during migration

Sandberg, Roland LU ; Bäckman, Johan LU ; Moore, F R and Lohmus, M (2000) In Animal Behaviour 60(4). p.453-462
Abstract
Migratory birds use celestial and geomagnetic directional information to orient on their way between breeding and wintering areas. Cue-conflict experiments involving these two orientation cue systems have shown that directional information can be transferred from one system to the other by calibration. We designed experiments with four species of North American songbirds to: (1) examine whether these species calibrate orientation information from one system to the other; and (2) determine whether there are species-specific differences in calibration. Migratory orientation was recorded with two different techniques, cage tests and free-flight release rests, during autumn migration. Cage tests at dusk in the local geomagnetic field revealed... (More)
Migratory birds use celestial and geomagnetic directional information to orient on their way between breeding and wintering areas. Cue-conflict experiments involving these two orientation cue systems have shown that directional information can be transferred from one system to the other by calibration. We designed experiments with four species of North American songbirds to: (1) examine whether these species calibrate orientation information from one system to the other; and (2) determine whether there are species-specific differences in calibration. Migratory orientation was recorded with two different techniques, cage tests and free-flight release rests, during autumn migration. Cage tests at dusk in the local geomagnetic field revealed species-specific differences: red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus, and northern waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis, selected seasonally appropriate southerly directions whereas indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea, and grey catbird, Dumetella carolinensis, oriented towards the sunset direction. When tested in deflected magnetic fields, vireos and waterthrushes responded by shifting their orientation according to the deflection of the magnetic field, but buntings and catbirds failed to show any response to the treatment. In release tests, all four species showed that they had recalibrated their star compass on the basis of the magnetic field they had just experienced in the cage tests. Since release tests were done in the local geomagnetic field it seems clear that once the migratory direction is determined, most likely during the twilight period, the birds use their recalibrated star compass for orientation at departure. (C) 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
60
issue
4
pages
453 - 462
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:0033735303
ISSN
1095-8282
DOI
10.1006/anbe.2000.1582
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f87c45c6-6219-405f-b2c3-b6a77a39e5a8 (old id 145935)
date added to LUP
2007-06-26 12:09:05
date last changed
2017-08-06 03:46:21
@article{f87c45c6-6219-405f-b2c3-b6a77a39e5a8,
  abstract     = {Migratory birds use celestial and geomagnetic directional information to orient on their way between breeding and wintering areas. Cue-conflict experiments involving these two orientation cue systems have shown that directional information can be transferred from one system to the other by calibration. We designed experiments with four species of North American songbirds to: (1) examine whether these species calibrate orientation information from one system to the other; and (2) determine whether there are species-specific differences in calibration. Migratory orientation was recorded with two different techniques, cage tests and free-flight release rests, during autumn migration. Cage tests at dusk in the local geomagnetic field revealed species-specific differences: red-eyed vireo, Vireo olivaceus, and northern waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis, selected seasonally appropriate southerly directions whereas indigo bunting, Passerina cyanea, and grey catbird, Dumetella carolinensis, oriented towards the sunset direction. When tested in deflected magnetic fields, vireos and waterthrushes responded by shifting their orientation according to the deflection of the magnetic field, but buntings and catbirds failed to show any response to the treatment. In release tests, all four species showed that they had recalibrated their star compass on the basis of the magnetic field they had just experienced in the cage tests. Since release tests were done in the local geomagnetic field it seems clear that once the migratory direction is determined, most likely during the twilight period, the birds use their recalibrated star compass for orientation at departure. (C) 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.},
  author       = {Sandberg, Roland and Bäckman, Johan and Moore, F R and Lohmus, M},
  issn         = {1095-8282},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {453--462},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Magnetic information calibrates celestial cues during migration},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2000.1582},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2000},
}