Ten Facts About Pigeons That May Challenge Your View (Wit Pictures)

In the modern day, pigeons have gained a terrible reputation. Most people view them as silly birds that only exist to infest city streets and spread disease. Some people even go so far as to call them ‘rats with wings.’ However, several aspects of this reputation may not be rooted in fact. Pigeons are capable of amazing things that many people are unaware of. Here are 10 facts about pigeons that may challenge your view.

10. Homing Pigeons Have Variety Of Navigational Techniques

Homing pigeons have gained quite a reputation for their ability to find their way back home. How do these birds do it? There may be a few answers to that question. In order for a homing pigeon to find its way back home, they have to rely on two things: their “map sense,” where they take cues from landmarks and smells to determine where they are, and their “compass sense,” in which they rely on the movement and positioning of the sun to navigate. If either of these senses are disrupted, the birds will be unable to find their way home easily.

Humans may be able to relate to the concept of a ‘map sense,’ in that we, too, have a tendency to rely on landmarks to find our way home when lost. ‘Compass sense’ is where it gets interesting. How does it work? Some research has shown that a pigeon’s ability to home can be disrupted if they are kept under artificial lighting. In addition, homing pigeons have a literal internal compass, believed to be located somewhere around the front of their head or nose. This ‘compass’ reacts to the magnetic fields of the earth and acts as another tool to help them find their way home.

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