Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 201–225

Goal-oriented and compass-oriented movements of displaced homing pigeons after confinement in differentially shielded aviaries

  • Hans G. Wallraff
Article

Summary

Young pigeons were kept in an aviary from the time of weaning until the time of displacement 3–5 months later. The two compartments of the aviary were differentially shielded by surrounding walls, and birds of both compartments were released simultaneously. During six years, seven types of shieldings were used (Fig. 1). Releases were conducted at four sites in the cardinal directions (distances about 100 and 30 km, respectively). Initial bearings and distributions of recoveries led to the following conclusions (Figs. 3 and 4):
  1. 1.

    Visual shielding of the environment up to about 10° above the horizontal plane does not influence long-distance orientation, provided that the shielding does not also impair the airflow through the aviary.

     
  2. 2.

    Homeward orientation is drastically reduced if the aviary is surrounded by walls made of glass.

     
  3. 3.

    Homeward orientation from all four directions persists if the pigeons lived in corridors between two solid walls permitting airflow either along the N-S axis or along the E-W axis.

     
  4. 4.

    The preferred compass direction (PCD) of pigeons which lived in this aviary in unscreened conditions is SSW. In the initial bearings, this PCD is more pronounced than the tendency toward home.

     
  5. 5.

    The PCD is reversed to NNE in pigeons which lived in a corridor open at east and west (but is unaffected by a N-S corridor).

     
  6. 6.

    The results obtained with the corridor aviaries do not support the olfactory navigation hypothesis as it stands so far (cf. Papi, 1976).

     

Some aspects of circular statistics are discussed in the Appendix.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baldaccini, N.E., Benvenuti, S., Fiaschi, V., Papi, F.: Pigeon navigation: Effects of wind deflection at home cage on homing behaviour. J. Comp. Physiol. 99, 177–186 (1975)Google Scholar
  2. Baldaccini, N.E., Benvenuti, S., Fiaschi, V., Ioalé, P., Papi, F.: Investigation of pigeon homing by means of ‘deflector cages’. In: Animal migration, navigation, and homing. Schmidt-Koenig, K., Keeton, W.T. (eds.), pp. 78–91. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York. Springer 1978Google Scholar
  3. Batschelet, E.: Statistical methods for the analysis of problems in animal orientation and certain biological rhythms. Washington, D.C.: Am. Inst. Biol. Sci. 1965Google Scholar
  4. Batschelet, E.: Recent statistical methods for orientation data. In: Animal orientation and navigation. Galler, S.R., et al. (eds.), pp. 61–91. Washington, D.C.: NASA (SP-262) 1972Google Scholar
  5. Batschelet, E.: Second-order statistical analysis of directions. In: Animal migration, navigation, and homing. Schmidt-Koenig, K., Keeton, W.T. (eds.), pp. 3–24. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer 1978Google Scholar
  6. Hartwick, R., Kiepenheuer, J., Schmidt-Koenig, K.: Further experiments on the olfactory hypothesis of pigeon navigation. In: Animal migration, navigation, and homing. Schmidt-Koenig, K., Keeton, W.T. (eds.), pp. 107–118. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer 1978Google Scholar
  7. Keeton, W.T.: The orientational and navigational basis of homing in birds. Adv. Study Behav 5, 47–132 (1974)Google Scholar
  8. Keeton, W.T., Kreithen, M.L., Hermayer, K.L.: Orientation by pigeons deprived of olfaction by nasal tubes. J. Comp. Physiol. 114, 289–299 (1977)Google Scholar
  9. Kramer, G.: Über die Heimfindeleistung unter Sichtbegrenzung aufgewachsener Brieftauben. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 1958, 168–176 (1959a)Google Scholar
  10. Kramer, G.: Recent experiments on bird orientation. Ibis 101, 399–416 (1959b)Google Scholar
  11. Kramer, G., St. Paul, U.v.: Das Heimkehrvermögen gekäfigter Brieftauben. Ornithol. Beob 51, 4–12 (1954)Google Scholar
  12. Mardia, K.V.: Statistics of directional data. London-New York: Academic Press 1972Google Scholar
  13. Papi, F.: The olfactory navigation of the homing pigeson. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 69, 184–205 (1976)Google Scholar
  14. Papi, F., Fiore, L., Fiaschi, V., Benvenuti, S.: Olfaction and homing in pigeons. Monit. Zool. Ital. (N.S.) 6, 85–95 (1972)Google Scholar
  15. Papi, F., Keeton, W.T., Brown, A.I., Benvenuti, S.: Do American and Italian pigeons rely on different homing mechanisms? J. Comp. Physiol. 128, 303–317 (1978)Google Scholar
  16. Schmidt-Koening, K.: Experimentelle Einflußnahme auf die 24-Stunden-periodik bei Brieftauben und deren Auswirkungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Heimfindevermögens. Z. Tierpsychol. 15, 301–331 (1958)Google Scholar
  17. Wallraff, H.G.: Über die Heimfindeleistungen von Brieftauben nach Haltung in verschiedenartig abgeschirmten Volieren. Z. vergl. Physiol. 52, 215–259 (1966)Google Scholar
  18. Wallraff, H.G.: The present status of our knowledge about pigeon homing. In: Proc. XIV Int. Ornithol. Congr. Snow, D.W. (ed.), pp. 331–358. Oxford-Edinburgh: Blackwell 1967Google Scholar
  19. Wallraff, H.G.: Über die Flugrichtungen verfrachteter Brieftauben in Abhängigkeit vom Heimatort und vom Ort der Freilassung. Z. Tierpsychol. 27, 303–351 (1970a)Google Scholar
  20. Wallraff, H.G.: Weitere Volierenversuche mit Brieftauben: Wahrscheinlicher Einfluß dynamischer Faktoren der Atmosphäre auf die Orientierung. Z. vergl. Physiol. 68, 182–201 (1970b)Google Scholar
  21. Wallraff, H.G.: Homing of pigeons after extirpation of their cochleae and lagenae. Nature [New Biol.] 236, 223–224 (1972)Google Scholar
  22. Wallraff, H.G.: Das Navigationssystem der Vögel. München-Wien: Oldenbourg 1974Google Scholar
  23. Wallraff, H.G.: Preferred compass directions in initial orientation of homing pigeons. In: Animal migration, navigation, and homing. Schmidt-Koenig, K., Keeton, W.T. (eds.), pp. 171–183. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer 1978aGoogle Scholar
  24. Wallraff, H.G.: Social interrelations involved in migratory orientation of birds: Possible contribution of field studies. Oikos 30, 401–404 (1978b)Google Scholar
  25. Wallraff, H.G.: Homing strategy of pigeons and implications for the analysis of their initial orientation. Proc. XVII Int. Ornithol. Congr. (in press) (1979)Google Scholar
  26. Wallraff, H.G., Graue, L.C.: Orientation of pigeons after transatlantic displacement. Behaviour 44, 1–35 (1973)Google Scholar
  27. Windsor, D.M.: Regional expression of directional preferences by experienced homing pigeons. Anim. Behav. 23, 335–343 (1975)Google Scholar
  28. Yodlowski, M.L., Kreithen, M.L., Keeton, W.T.: Detection of atmospheric infrasound by homing pigeons. Nature 265, 725–726 (1977)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans G. Wallraff
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für VerhaltensphysiologieSeewiesenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations