Saturday, April 2, 2011

USGS Video: Unraveling the Mystery of Avian Navigation

The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) in Menlo Park holds a monthly lecture series on scientific topics for the general public. Unfortunately I often can’t make it down to Menlo Park, but the good news is that they post a video archive of all the lectures online.

This past Thursday the lecture was: “Unraveling the Mystery of Avian Navigation: New research indicates that birds are listening to the landscape to find their way.” By Jon Hagstrum, Research Geophysicist. It’s basically this scientists research about “infrasound” and how pigeons may use it to navigate. There have been many theories over the years about how birds find their way “home” particularly pigeons, and none of them have really stood up to scientific testing. There is a little bit of physics involved in this lecture, but not too much, and these videos are really aimed at the general public viewing audience. I found it to be a really interesting topic, and if you are in to birds or navigation you should check it out.

Other USGS links: