How do birds navigate and pigeons home?

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Despite decades of research, no one knows how birds navigate to destinations hundreds of miles away. Rupert suggests that there is a field-mediated sense of direction through which they are attracted towards their goals. This is the first of a series of six talks on potential breakthroughs in the sciences, which will be released free of charge at roughly two-monthly intervals. But all the talks can be accessed instantly, together with course materials including relevant chapters from Rupert’s books and scientific papers and reports, for a payment of £55. The proceeds will help to cover the cost of the professional recording of these and other talks.

"I've been interested in how pigeons home and how birds navigate from the earliest age. In fact, I think it was probably this problem that got me interested in science in the first place. When I was working in biological research as a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, I started asking professors of zoology at Cambridge University how birds navigation, how pigeons home. No one really knew, and it's still probably the most obvious unsolved problem in animal biology."

Dr Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, is a biologist and author best known for his hypothesis of morphic resonance. At Cambridge University he worked in developmental biology as a Fellow of Clare College. He was Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and From 2005 to 2010 was Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, Cambridge.

Related book:
Seven Experiments That Could Change the World

Satellite Tracking of Wandering Albatrosses
Jouventin,P. and Weimerskirsch, H. 1990. Nature 343, 745-748.
Perdeck, Albert C.
Two Types of Orientation in Migrating Starlings, Sturnus yulgaris L., and Chaffinches, Fringilla coelebs L., as Revealed by Displacement Experiments. Ardea, 55(1–2) : 1-2.
Netherlands Ornithologists' Union
Magnetic Fields 1750-1980
Bloxham, J. and Gubbins, D. 1985. The secular variation of tye earth’s magnetic field. Nature 317, 778-781.
World War 1 Pigeon Loft Photos
public domain
Mobile Loft Experiment at Coldham hall, Suffolk, 1989
With Robbie Robson of Bury St. Edmunds Racing Pigeon Club
Photo by: Jill Purce
Dutch Navel Pigeon Experiment
HNLMS Tydeman
June, 1995
Filmed by: Louis van Gasteren, Gregor Meerman and Jacqueline van Vugt
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