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How do migratory birds find their way to the same sites each year?

 
 
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 02:22 am
By what evolutionary mechanism do migrating birds (e.g. Canada geese) end up at the same spot for overwintering year after year? Their ability to do this has always amazed me - we need maps and satnavs, they have neither of those.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 06:19 am
@julesreubin,
julesreubin wrote:

By what evolutionary mechanism do migrating birds (e.g. Canada geese) end up at the same spot for overwintering year after year? Their ability to do this has always amazed me - we need maps and satnavs, they have neither of those.

Birds use a cluster of mechanisms, some of them quite mundane, like landmarks. Different species do it slightly differently. I'm not sure if Canada Geese have been tested specifically.

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