Pigeons Follow Their Noses Home

Pigeons Follow Their Noses Home

For thousands of years, humans have bred rock doves (a.k.a. pigeons) to travel home over massive distances. These domesticated pigeons have helped us fight wars, find shipwrecks, and deliver blood samples. But despite our long partnership, we have yet to understand exactly how they navigate hundreds of miles back to their roost. New research shows that they may, in part, be sniffing their way home.

To navigate, scientists believe that birds use both a map and a compass. The compass—the sun or the Earth’s magnetic field—tells pigeons where, say, south is. The map, which tells them home is south, could come from odors carried on winds around a pigeon’s home perch, reports German ornithologist Hans Wallraff, of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in the journal Biogeosciences.

Earlier research revealed that impairing a pigeon’s sense of smell disorients the bird so that they cannot return to their home site. Wallraff’s meticulous study of air samples surrounding a pigeons’ roost suggests that odors offer consistent location cues. He believes that this can allow birds to learn to associate a given direction with a scent. So when they’re traveling and detect a certain odor—whether the sharp scent of seawater, ripe reek of the local dump, or mouth-watering aroma of a bakery—they build a mental map of the area using their olfactory memories.

In fact, the scent trail may be so strong that pigeons can navigate by it alone, Wallraff’s new model shows. Wallraff input data from his previous air sampling work, which included 46 odorous chemical compounds from 96 sites surrounding the pigeons’ home. He then modeled whether virtual birds could learn to navigate using these odoriferous signals. He found that over evolutionary time, birds become more sensitive to scents and can in fact use these pungent clues to travel home.

Although he has yet to determine which odorous chemical clues are most important, Wallraff’s findings reveal how avian olfaction may enable a bird to successfully traverse more than 1,000 miles, which is nothing to sniff at.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

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Pigeons Are Secretly Brilliant Birds That Understand Space and Time, Study Finds

Pigeons Are Secretly Brilliant Birds That Understand Space and Time, Study Finds

Of all the birds in the world, the pigeon draws the most ire. Despite their reputation as brainless “rats with wings,” though, they’re actually pretty brilliant (and beautiful) animals. A new study adds more evidence that the family of birds known as pigeons are some of the smartest birds around, as Quartz alerts us.

In addition to being able to distinguish English vocabulary from nonsense words, spot cancer, and tell a Monet from a Picasso, pigeons can understand abstract concepts like space and time, according to the new study published in Current Biology. Their brains just do it in a slightly different way than humans’ do.

Researchers at the University of Iowa set up an experiment where they showed pigeons a computer screen featuring a static horizontal line. The birds were supposed to evaluate the length of the line (either 6 centimeters or 24 centimeters) or the amount of time they saw it (either 2 or 8 seconds). The birds perceived “the longer lines to have longer duration, and lines longer in duration to also be longer in length,” according to a press release. This suggests that the concepts are processed in the same region of the brain—as they are in the brains of humans and other primates.

But that abstract thinking doesn’t occur in the same way in bird brains as it does in ours. In humans, perceiving space and time is linked to a region of the brain called the parietal cortex, which the pigeon brains lack entirely. So their brains have to have some other way of processing the concepts.

The study didn’t determine how, exactly, pigeons achieve this cognitive feat, but it’s clear that some other aspect of the central nervous system must be controlling it. That also opens up the possibility that other non-mammal animals can perceive space and time, too, expanding how we think of other animals’ cognitive capabilities.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Homing Pigeons are Forgetful Too

Homing Pigeons are Forgetful Too

If it makes you feel any better, humans aren’t the only animals that forget things. Researchers have found that homing pigeons do the same. The new findings, they add, suggest an underlying continuity across the human and animal world in how the brain works.

The knack of remembering and forgetting is the brain’s way of filtering information to manage its limited storage capacity. For example, you briefly store information about trees and cars around you in your working memory, but if someone tells you to focus on a speeding truck, your brain uses a process called executive control to remember that object longer. Meanwhile, you forget the others. In humans, this filtering is performed by the prefrontal cortex.

To test whether the avian brain has a similar filtering mechanism, Michael Colombo, a neuroscientist at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and colleagues subjected homing pigeons to a memory test. First, the researchers trained the birds to know that a high tone means they should remember an object, while a low tone means they can forget it. They then showed the birds one of two shapes (circles or dots) or colors (blue and green). After a bird pecked three times at the image, the researchers sounded a tone. Birds that heard the remember cue fired up neurons in a region of their brain analogous to the human prefrontal cortex (as measured via implanted electrodes), Colombo’s team reports today in PLos Biology. And those birds did, in fact, remember the objects: 79% of the time, they correctly pecked at the original object again when shown multiple images 3 seconds later. In contrast, birds that heard the forget cue did not exhibit sustained activation of the same brain area, and only in about 44% of cases did the birds correctly identify the original object. Thus, the researchers argue the birds use a similar mechanism as humans to filter their memories.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Birmingham pigeon fanciers inspire play

Birmingham pigeon fanciers inspire play

Pigeon fanciers in Birmingham have provided the inspiration for a new play, which the team behind it plan to stage at a city pigeon loft.

The play is written by Mandy Ross and based on an idea by Alex Lockett.

Artist and curator Alex Lockett said the play has developed from a project to chronicle the lives and stories behind a hidden passion in the city.

She said she had become “hooked” herself a little more than four years ago.

“Project Pigeon started as an arts event. I went along to a pigeon club and all these guys were telling me some amazing stories,” she said.

“I went from knowing nothing to keeping about 50 or 60 birds in a loft in Digbeth.”

Pigeons on trains

In January of this year Project Pigeon was awarded a £43,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to compile an archive of pigeon fancying in the city.

More than 30 audio interviews and a dozen videos later the archive is almost complete.

It is due to be handed over to Birmingham Library next year, with some of the stories also going to Bletchley Park’s Animals at War exhibition.

Ms Lockett said pigeon fancying had become more popular in the West Midlands than any other region in the country, with its popularity in Birmingham driven by industrialisation and the development of the railways.

“People would take their pigeons down to New Street Station or Snow Hill and let them travel north or south.

“The railway stationmaster would later release them and the baskets would be sent back with the time of release attached to them. That happened right up until the 1960s.”

Today some of the best racing birds can be worth thousands of pounds.

Birmingham Roller

Ms Lockett said people were still passionate about the sport in the city but she had feared some of its social history might be lost.

“One guy had tables of every club race result from the last 30 years. You could see sons following fathers and the same names appearing at the bottom of the results.”

The city has even given its name to a breed of pigeon, known as the Birmingham Roller, bred not for speed but for its ability to perform somersaults in the air.

Fans of the bird include ex heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, who has in the past bought birds from Birmingham and Wolverhampton breeders, in a bid to find a genuine Roller, Ms Lockett said.

Stories unearthed by Project Pigeon include that of Betty and Bernard Hemming who met and later married after Bernard struck up a friendship with her brother, a fellow pigeon fancier.

A murkier world was also revealed when one contributor revealed he had stolen a bird from a neighbour as a child and dyed it purple to prevent it being recognised.

The play, performed by Rogue Play Theatre, is due to be staged at Project Pigeon’s loft in Digbeth in April. A book is also being written and a series of radio plays, based on the interviews, are expected to be broadcast in February.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Downtown ‘sniper’ turns out to be a pigeon-shooter

Downtown ‘sniper’ turns out to be a pigeon-shooter

Heavily armed shock troops took to the streets of Downtown, police officers barked at pedestrians to take cover and Pittsburgh’s mayor donned a bulletproof vest yesterday afternoon as reports of a sniper in the heart of the business district triggered a massive police response and paralyzed both commerce and traffic.

Several nervous callers to 911 had described a man with a bushy beard carrying a rifle with a scope and pointing it out the windows of a building in the 500 block of Penn Avenue.

Police closed off streets. Inbound lanes of the Fort Pitt Bridge were closed to traffic, as were ramps leading to Downtown from the Fort Duquesne Bridge. A Port Authority Police officer armed with an AR-15 rifle stood guard at Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street.

It was a surreal incident, a surreal response and, fittingly, a surreal ending.

There was no sniper after all, only a maintenance man at the Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal plant shooting at pigeons inside the 10-story facility with a pellet rifle.

Police declined to identify the man. But PACT president Robert Fazio said he was Richard Wills, an “excellent” longtime employee who has worked single-handedly for several years to eradicate the plant’s pigeon problem after poison and plastic owls proved unsuccessful. PACT provides steam heat for buildings throughout Downtown.

When police discovered that tidbit of information, they also learned another. Despite the rapid response and overwhelming police presence, the worker, a Fayette County resident, had quietly left, possibly oblivious to the uproar he had caused.

Mr. Wills could not be reached for comment last night.

Police spokeswoman Tammy Ewin said it was unlikely the man would be arrested. The only charge likely to stem from the incident could be a citation if it were determined he fired the gun illegally inside the city limits, Ms. Ewin said.

Chief Dominic J. Costa, who was Downtown along with Mayor Bob O’Connor and other top local officials, said merely carrying a pellet rifle Downtown might not be against the law. However, he added, it flew in the face of common sense.

“Look at the alarm he caused. Look at all the inconvenience he caused,” Chief Costa said.

Until police determined roughly two hours into the incident that there was no imminent danger, they took no chances.

The event began around 1:05 p.m., apparently after a witness saw a man with a rifle inside a building on Penn Avenue. Then a police dispatcher broadcast information about a gunman with a rifle and a scope on the fourth floor of a building at Penn and Cecil Way, an alley running from Penn to Fort Duquesne Boulevard. Another dispatch had the man wearing some type of light strapped to his shoulder.

Officers shut Penn Avenue, Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Liberty Avenue from Stanwix to Sixth streets and posted officers at the intersections.

“Folks, you need to either move to the right or the left,” bellowed one motorcycle officer to a group of pedestrians on Stanwix Street. “This guy has a high-powered rifle.”

About 100 Highmark Life and Casualty employees were told to keep clear of the windows of their floor in 515 Penn Ave., which faced the building at 525 Penn Ave., where the incident was taking place.

They remained in the building for two hours, tracking the unfolding events on the Internet, television and phone calls from the outside, said staffer Carol Hunter.

The shutdown paralyzed some businesses both inside and outside the taped-off police perimeter. One exception was the Sixth Penn bistro, where the five-person kitchen crew remained busy hustling out orders of meatloaf, crabcake and Reuben sandwiches all afternoon.

“Customers were enjoying hanging out,” said fry cook Chris Eggleton, 32. “People took it as an extended lunch at the expense of a sniper.”

At the Fifth Avenue Beanery coffee shop, customers presumably were “just sitting at the tables or walking back and forth, talking on their cell phones,” said Manager Mary Ann Keating. “People were more frustrated about what was going on. They wanted out and they weren’t allowed out.”

For a time, police had trouble locating the right building. Adding to the confusion were later dispatches that the suspect might be walking away carrying a duffel bag or a backpack.

Eventually, police focused on the PACT complex, two buildings along Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Cecil Way that share a common wall.

As surveillance continued, police swarmed Downtown in droves. Unmarked cars pulled up, one after the other, as members of the Special Emergency Response Team exited, donned body armor and unloaded heavy weapons. Snipers took up positions.

A state police helicopter whirred overhead. The bomb squad arrived. Allegheny County Sheriff Peter R. DeFazio and Chief Executive Dan Onorato showed up.

And Mr. O’Connor, whose wife, Judy, was at work in the hot zone, ran across Penn Avenue shielded by his bodyguard, Officer Joseph Ryczaj, to check on her.

Authorities established a command post in the lobby of Fifth Avenue Place, where a police robot rolled over the lobby floor.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Tara Bingaman, 28, of North Huntingdon, a student at Point Park University who wandered over to Stanwix Street to witness the hubbub.

Around 2:20 p.m., SERT officers marched out of Fifth Avenue Place. Mr. O’Connor, whose white hair stood in contrast to the officers’ black outfits, stood at the end of their line. The officers made their way around the corner onto Penn and down Cecil Way.

Eventually, they entered the PACT building shortly before 3 p.m. and found a foreman who told them the description of the man with a gun matched that of an employee who shoots pigeons with a pellet rifle and a scope.

Mr. Fazio said Mr. Wills used his own pellet rifle — which he stores at the plant — to clear out pigeons who roost in the building’s rafters and rain droppings down on the machinery.

“We do have an internal building pigeon problem. The pigeons come into our building and from time to time one of our employees has used a pellet rifle to get rid of pigeons inside our building only,” Mr. Fazio said.

Patrons at Caffe Amante, a restaurant on the second floor of Fifth Avenue Place, had been finishing lunches or heading back to work when police poured into the area and ordered the building shut down. So they headed back to the restaurant, which overlooks Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street, to cluster around the television and watch news reports about the situation unfolding on the streets around them.

“It was confusing and more than a little aggravating,” manager Debbie Doucette said. “Now that it turns out to be a pellet gun, I’m really aggravated. We were all held up for two hours for pigeons and pellet guns.”

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

 

Bird Flu FAQ

Bird Flu FAQ

What Is Bird Flu?

Bird flu, or avian influenza, is a viral infection spread from bird to bird. The most common kind of bird flu is the H5N1 strain. It’s mostly a threat to birds and doesn’t spread easily among people, but there was a major outbreak of bird flu in people in 2014. The very few cases of human-to-human transmission were among people with exceptionally close contact, such as a mother who caught the virus while caring for their sick infant.

Migrating water fowl — most notably wild ducks — are the natural carriers of bird flu viruses. It’s suspected that infection can spread from wild fowl to domestic poultry.

a pigeon bird standing by guano manure

How Do Humans Get Bird Flu?

People catch bird flu by close contact with birds or bird droppings.

In the 2014 outbreak, some people caught H5N1 from cleaning or plucking infected birds. There were reports in China of infection via inhalation of aerosolized materials in live bird markets. It’s also possible that some people were infected after swimming or bathing in water contaminated with the droppings of infected birds. And some infections have occurred in people who handle fighting cocks.

People don’t catch the virus from eating fully cooked chicken or eggs.

There were a few cases where one infected person caught the bird flu virus from another person, but only after close personal contact.

In Indonesia in 2006, bird flu spread to eight members of one family. Seven of them died. It’s not clear exactly how this happened. Family members likely had similar contacts with infected birds. They may also have shared genes that made them particularly susceptible to the virus. However, casual contact does not seem to be involved.

Has Bird Flu Been Seen in the U.S.?

Various strains of bird flu pop up in U.S. poultry from time to time. When they do, all affected poultry flocks are culled.

For example, in 2004, a highly dangerous bird flu strain appeared in a Texas chicken flock. The outbreak involved an H5N2 virus (not the H5N1 bird flu). By April 2004, the outbreak had been eradicated. No human infections were detected.

What Are the Symptoms of Bird Flu in People?

Bird flu symptoms in people can vary. It may start out with normal flu-like symptoms. Sometimes, this can worsen to become a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal.

In February 2005, researchers in Vietnam reported human cases of bird flu in which the virus infected the brain and digestive tract of two children. Both died. These cases show that bird flu in humans may not always look like typical cases of flu.

Is There a Bird Flu Vaccine?

Yes. The FDA approved the first vaccine to prevent human infection with one strain of the bird flu in 2007. But it’s not been made commercially available to the general public. The U.S. government purchased the vaccine in case it needed to be distributed by public health officials.

Is There a Treatment for Bird Flu?

The flu drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or zanamivir (Relenza) may help treat bird flu in people, although more studies are needed. These drugs must be given soon after symptoms appear.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard