Geomagnetic disturbance and the orientation of nocturnally migrating birds

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Science  06 May 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4290, pp. 682-684
DOI: 10.1126/science.854743


Free-flying passerine migrants respond to natural fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field. The variability in flight directions of nocturnal migrants is significantly correlated with increasing geomagnetic disturbance as measured by both the K index and various components of the earth's magnetic field. The results indicate that such disturbances influence the orientation of free-flying migrants, but the evidence is not sufficient to show that geomagnetism is a cue in their orientation system.

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