Pat Shingleton: "Bird Brains..."
I noted yesterday that the buzzards will be returning to Hinckley, Ohio, the swallows are returning to Capistrano and the robins are returning to their northern homes. I neglected to mention the Purple Martins. Lots of folks have the Martin homes in their backyards, connected to large poles with numerous openings. Maybe they should be called "Purple Martin Motels." It was once believed that homing pigeons relied on the sun's position to decipher Earth's magnetic field for navigation. Over the years, researchers at Oxford University have attached tracking devices to monitor pigeons over extended periods of time. Their research determined that within ten kilometers of a designated "home," the pigeons followed roads, rivers, railways and hedge lines, even when it wasn't the most direct path home. Scientists believe these birds consistently followed a memorized route. The folks at Benny's Car Wash believe that Baton Rouge pigeons tend to visit "filled" parking lots through the city which greatly assists the traffic at Benny's.