To cross or not to cross

Recently Vera Brust, Bianca Michalik and Ommo Hüppop  have produced a paper called “To cross or not to cross – thrushes at the German North Sea coast adapt flight and routing to wind conditions in autumn”.

They looked at some of the thrush family (blackbirds, redwings and song thrushes) that migrate across the North sea from the German North Sea coast to Britain at night during the autumn to escape the harsh winter conditions on the continent.  This paper suggests that whilst there is definitely a genetic component to navigation, the birds preferred clear skies with a wind blowing from the west
with favourable north wind component. 

We also have two papers led by Alessandro Cresci, suggesting that Atlantic Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) Larvae have a Magnetic Compass that Guides their Orientation and Glass Eels (Anguilla anguilla) imprint the magnetic direction of tidal currents from their juvenile estuaries.  It appears that there is increasing evidence that a lot of sea creatures use magnetic cues to help with their navigation

Richard Nissen


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