Much has been written and studied regarding the world’s bird populations in an effort to identify how and why birds act the way they do, particularly during migration.
As one of the most impressive feats in the animal kingdom, researchers have long been fascinated by our feathered friends’ ability to navigate long distances, often at night, as they head to their southern wintering grounds.
From astronomy to the earth’s magnetic field, there are many theories out there to suggest how birds make these long journeys, but as research continues, ornithologist and other researchers continue to push the envelope to uncover more about this unique behaviour. In a large-scale study, researchers with Oxford University’s Department of Zoology designed an experiment that would test the olfactory response among seafaring birds as they migrate, to determine what, if any affect their sense of smell had on their migration.
Capturing and fitting 32 Scopoli’s shearwaters; a long-distance migrating European seabird, with GPS tracking units, Oliver Padget and his team divided the birds into three groups. The first group was a control group, one without any outside influences, the second was fitted with magnets and the third, a scentless group.