Magnetic field tells nightingales to binge

Magnetic field tells nightingales to binge

By Susan Milius, 15:48 PM April 15, 2008

Having to cross the Sahara in the middle of migration means a bird can't count on food for some 5 nights of flying. So, how does a first-timer know to take on extra fuel?

For thrush nightingales traveling from Sweden to southern Africa, the cue for a life-saving eating binge may come from changes that birds sense in the magnetic field, propose Thord Fransson of the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm and his colleagues.

They built lab equipment to simulate strengths and directions o...

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