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Author Muheim, R.; Phillips, J.B.; Akesson, S.
Title Polarized light cues underlie compass calibration in migratory songbirds Type Journal Article
Year 2006 Publication Science (New York, N.Y.) Abbreviated Journal Science
Volume 313 Issue 5788 Pages 837-839
Keywords Alaska; *Animal Migration; Animals; Calibration; Cues; *Flight, Animal; Geography; *Light; Magnetics; *Orientation; Seasons; Sparrows/*physiology; Sunlight
Abstract Migratory songbirds use the geomagnetic field, stars, the Sun, and polarized light patterns to determine their migratory direction. To prevent navigational errors, it is necessary to calibrate all of these compass systems to a common reference. We show that migratory Savannah sparrows use polarized light cues from the region of sky near the horizon to recalibrate the magnetic compass at both sunrise and sunset. We suggest that skylight polarization patterns are used to derive an absolute (i.e., geographic) directional system that provides the primary calibration reference for all of the compasses of migratory songbirds.
Address Department of Animal Ecology, Lund University, Ecology Building, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden. rmuheim@vt.edu
Corporate Author Thesis
Publisher Place of Publication Editor
Language English Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
ISSN 0036-8075 ISBN Medium
Area Expedition Conference
Notes PMID:16902138 Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 243
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