What Makes Bird Poop White?

What Makes Bird Poop White?

Birds brighten our lives. We find joy in their songs, inspiration in their soaring flight. They connect us with nature. But sometimes birds connect us a bit too directly with nature.


Park under the wrong tree – one where a flock of starlings or grackles comes to roost – and nature may be painted in white on your car so thickly that it takes a trip or two through the carwash just to see through the windshield again.

Aside from helping you decide where not to park next time, this messy event raises a scientific question: Why is most of the bird poop we see white? The answer lies in the fact that birds, unlike mammals, don’t produce urine. Instead they excrete nitrogenous wastes in the form of uric acid, which emerges as a white paste. And uric acid doesn’t dissolve in water easily. Hence its ability to stick to your windshield like blobs of white plaster.

It appears that drivers of some cars might be asking for trouble. A study in England found that red cars are most likely to be the target of bird droppings, followed by blue and black. Green was the least likely. So be careful where you park. And give that red Mustang a wide berth.

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

Blind woman warns of pigeon poop exposure danger

Blind woman warns of pigeon poop exposure danger

A young woman in Fredericton is singing on the street to call attention to the disease that made her blind.

Erica Richards lost her sight last year after developing Cryptococcus meningitis.

Cryptococcus meningitis is a potentially fatal swelling of the membranes surrounding the brain. The disease is caused by fungus that lives in the guts of pigeons and other birds, such as chickens.

People can breathe it in if they’re exposed to pigeon droppings.

The 24-year-old was living in a house that had a pile of pigeon feces in the attic, and she also had a compromised immune system from chemotherapy .

“A reverse migraine — I needed light, I needed sound. I needed neck massages. Couldn’t lay down, couldn’t sit up. Couldn’t eat. I was vomiting. And then I started having double vision, quadruple vision, then seizures. And then I ended up in hospital,” she said as she described her symptoms.

Richards sings to supplement her $135 a month disability payment.

Kevin Forward is an infectious disease specialist who teaches at Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax.

“I think it’s pretty common sense. Move to avoid being in a situation where there are a lot of pigeon droppings, particularly if you’re disturbing them, cleaning them up, sweeping them,” Forward said.

“Those kind of situations should certainly be avoided. But if you’re in the park that has some pigeons around, I think the risk is infinitely small.”

Pigeons are part of the urban landscape, but they are known to carry a long list of disease-causing organisms — such as Chlamydia and salmonella.

That, along with complaints about them damaging roofs, led Fredericton to add pigeons to the city’s animal control bylaw last year.

Property owners are now prohibited from spreading feed or anything else that would attract pigeons.

Richards wants to make sure people know the risk of coming into contact with pigeon feces.

“To draw attention, to raise awareness so people will ask questions, so they will know what the symptoms are,” Richards said. “So that way, they can be warned ahead of time, before what happened to me happens to them.”

Next month, she’ll be going to a school sponsored by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to finish high school and to get matched with a seeing-eye dog.

She hopes to go on to study law.

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

What Makes Bird Poop White?

Should you be worried about pigeons?

If I say the word ‘pigeon’, it will conjure up an image in your head. In an urban environment this will probably be a ‘rat with wings’. However, if I say the word ‘dove’, you may well think of the second day of Christmas or Pablo Picasso’s ‘Dove of Peace’, a modern interpretation of an Early Christian symbol. Doves are seen as positive, but pigeons need to work on their public image.

The truth is many of what we Londoners call pigeons are in fact doves. The feral pigeons we see in Trafalgar Square are actually rock doves. To quote the RSPB, “there is no strict division between pigeons and doves.”

It’s easy to see why a rock dove would find our urban environment attractive. In many ways, our high-rise office buildings are a perfect substitute for a cliff face. This makes them ideal places to roost and nest and, being in an urban environment, they are also protected from many of their natural predators.

Are Pigeons Dangerous?

When you hear a pigeon coo it is hard to imagine that they can present a threat to human health. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

The British Pest Control Association recently published a study that found nearly 50% of feral pigeons were carrying Chlamydia psittaci. This can lead to ornithoses in humans, a nasty disease with symptoms that include chills, fever, sweating, severe weakness, headache, blurred vision, pneumonia and, in extreme cases, possible death.

In January 2019, pigeon droppings were also thought to be a “contributing factor” in the death of a child at a Glasgow hospital. Other pigeon related diseases include Histoplasmosis, Toxoplasmosis, and infections related to the Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella pathogens.

Pigeons are not themselves dangerous, but the pathogens contained within their faecal waste can be dangerous to humans.

What Are the Chances of Getting These Diseases?

In fact, pigeon-related diseases are uncommon in the UK, which is not the case in other countries, including the US. Unless you are directly dealing with pigeon nests or waste, it is unlikely you will encounter the pathogens that cause the diseases. When we deal with pigeons, we always wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure we are protected from these pathogens.

For most Londoners, the main problem is that pigeons are a nuisance. Roosting birds defecate down buildings, making them look dirty. For a business, this doesn’t give the right impression. Imagine you must choose between two restaurants – one is clean and the other has pigeon guano down its front – you are going to choose the clean restaurant because its façade suggests an attention to detail and cleanliness.

Pigeon waste can also create a slipping hazard. Businesses and property managers have a duty of care to ensure their buildings and surrounding areas are safe. A pavement covered in guano can be slippery, which could result in injury.

How Do We Get Rid of Pigeons?

Firstly, it is important to remember, “all wild birds and their eggs in the UK are rightfully protected by law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.” It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt to deal with the problem yourself.

Secondly, these birds are often roosting in inaccessible places as a form of protection. It is therefore dangerous to try to reach them without the proper equipment and specialised training.

There are two main things you can do to protect your property from pigeons.

  1. Cut off their food supply – pigeons like an easy meal and so if you remove food sources they will move elsewhere. In your garden, this means removing food that has fallen on to the floor, ensuring bin lids are shut and covering compost heaps. Also, discourage people who think it is okay to feed them!
  2. Stop them roosting – there are multiple methods available, including netting and spikes. The intention isn’t to harm the bird, simply to make them move somewhere else.

Again, it should be emphasised that accessing the places where bird proofing measures need to be installed can be difficult and dangerous. It is therefore highly advisable to seek fully insured, well-trained professional help if you have a pigeon problem.

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

Ten Astounding Pigeon Fact

Ten Astounding Pigeon Fact

1. Reuters used them: The world’s most famous news agency was founded in 1850 and employed 45 feathered messengers.

2. They read maps: Their homing skills are still a mystery, but a 10-year Oxfor university study concluded they use roads to navigate, even turning corners at junctions.

3. They were the original email: in the early 1800s, the Rothschilds set up a network of pigeon lofts at all their European financial houses.

4. The Queen loves them: Not only does Her Majesty fancy them, but Mike Tyson is a fan. Plus, Maurizio Gucci once spent $10,000 on an American pigeon.

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5. They’re clever: Pigeons are one of the only nine amimals (and the only non-mammal) that can recognise itself in a mirror.

6. They bob their heads for a reason: Their side-mounted eyes give them monocular vision, unlike the binocular vision of humans and owls, so they bob for depth perception.

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7. They’re holy: Many religious groups, including Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs, feed pigeons for religious reasons. Remember that the next time you shoo one.

8. They’re heroes: Several pigeons have been decorated in wartime, saving thousands of lives by delivering urgent messages under fire.

9. Their waste is invaluable: in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries pigeon excrement was a valuable fertiliser protected by armed guards.

10. They’re precious: The world’s most expensive pigeon was bought by a British stud farm for £106,000.

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

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

Named for its distinct, mournful cry, the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) is a small, ground-dwelling bird that is found throughout the United States, southern Canada, Mexico, certain regions of Central America, Bermuda, the Greater Antilles, and the Bahamas (Seamans). The mourning dove is a member of the order Columbiformes, family Columbidae, which consists of doves and pigeons (ITIS). The genus name, Zenaida, originates from the name of French zoologist Charles L. Bonaparte’s wife, Princess Zenaide Charlotte Julie Bonaparte (Chipper Woods Bird Observatory), while the species name, macroura, is Greek for “long-tailed” (Boreal Songbird Initiative). There are two subspecies of mourning dove in the United States. The smaller, paler in color Z. m. marginella lives west of the Mississippi River, and the larger, eastern subspecies, Z. m. carolinensis, is the one found in Pennsylvania and the other states east of the Mississippi River (Vuilleumier).

Dove

Mourning doves are light, beige colored birds with small, dark beaks and red feet. They have pale blue skin surrounding their eyes and distinct black spots on their wings. Like many other doves and pigeons, mourning doves have iridescent plumage. Although quite subtle, this feature is more noticeable in males, who may have faint, blue coloration on the backs of their heads and a somewhat pinkish breast and neck (National Geographic). The iridescence of the feathers is actually caused by the barbules of each feather being flat, elongated, and twisted at the base. Each barbule is composed of a thick, keratin complex over a layer of air. The number of melanosomes in contact with the keratin cortex and the thickness of the cortex determine the hue of the feather. The color and intensity of the iridescence also varies depending on the angle that light reflects on the feather (Shawkey, et al.). Juveniles are dark brown with a lighter face and chest, and their feathers have an almost “scaly” appearance (National Geographic). On average, mourning doves are between 23 to 34 centimeters in length, with a 45 centimeter wingspan, and weigh between 85 to 170 grams. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males, but overall, there is little difference between the sexes (All About Birds).

Mourning doves mostly inhabit temperate, open areas, such as farmland, forest clearings, along roadsides, and suburban areas. It is most common for mourning doves to be found in areas with much open space and a few trees or other places to nest. Typically, they avoid heavily forested areas (Kaufman), and the species has actually become more abundant with deforestation (Boreal Songbird Initiative).

Mourning doves are not uniformly migratory—northern populations will be more inclined to migrate, while southern populations are significantly less migratory (Yarrow). Northern populations usually migrate in flocks in the colder fall and winter months during the day, when it is warmest (Kaufman). Some populations (usually doves living in the south) will not migrate, so they simply spend their winters in their breeding range. Northern populations typically winter in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and Panama (Seamans).

Dove

Mourning doves are herbivores—rarely will they ever feed on insects. Seeds are the primary food source for mourning doves. Almost 99% of the mourning dove’s diet consists of grass, grain, and weed seeds (Kaufman). Mourning doves actually play a key role in controlling weed populations by eating the seeds (Chipper Woods Bird Observatory). When food is limited, such as in cold northern winters, mourning doves compensate by feeding for longer periods of time and taking more risks, which increases the likelihood of predation. Since they feed in open areas at ground-level, mourning doves must prioritize take-off speed and wing growth before reaching maturity to reduce encounters with predators both on the ground and from above (Miller 2011). Like many other wintering birds, mourning doves are able to adjust their metabolic rates to adapt to colder environments. This is done through torpor (physical inactivity), change of usual habits and activity, and supplemental nutrition from humans. Northern birds may continue to spend winters in their breeding range due to human interference and other artificial food sources. Mourning doves are more likely than many other bird species to frequent urban settings for supplemental feeding. Because over time they have adapted to using feeders as a food source in the winter months, migratory birds such as the mourning dove will overall be less inclined to migrate and search elsewhere for food (Zuckerberg, et. al).

An interesting and notable characteristic of mourning doves is the distinct “whistle” their wings make when taking off. In some bird species, sounds produced by wing beats can not only be associated with courtship, but they may also be associated with a sort of alarm call or warning of immediate danger and a need to flee. Some species of birds, such as the mourning dove, produce a distinct, wing whistling sound which is different from regular flapping sounds during flight, and louder than the bird’s usual vocalizations. One study suggests that the mourning dove’s wing whistle is a non-vocal alarm call. Although the results consistently suggested that this sound functioned as an alarm call, the sample size was too small to further analyze the theory or replicate the experiments (Hingee and Magrath).

Although they are ground-dwelling birds, mourning doves rarely build their nests on the ground (Boreal Songbird Initiative). Nesting pairs, who first bond by grooming, grasping beaks, and bobbing their heads in unison, will generally build their nests in man-made structures from ground level up to around 250 feet above ground (NestWatch). It is not unusual for mourning doves to reuse their own nests or even those of another species (All About Birds). They usually nest with two of three other pairs, but occasionally, small flocks will nest together. Any time between early April and late September, the eggs will be laid (The Bird Book). Females will raise anywhere from one to six broods a year, typically with two eggs per brood (All about Birds). Chicks are born altricial (NestWatch), meaning that after hatching, their eyes are closed, they are vulnerable with minimal down, and they must be fed by their parents. All passerines (“perching birds,” which make up more than half of the world’s bird population) are altricial. Precocial birds, on the other hand, are hatched with open eyes and down, and they are ready to leave the nest within two days of hatching (Stanford University). A trait fairly unique to mourning doves is the production of “pigeon milk,” known as “crop milk” in other species who produce this substance (Kaufman).

Mourning doves raised in large broods prioritized growth of wings to compensate for slower growth and development overall. As mortality rates in the nest increase, juvenile birds will grow faster and therefore fledge (grow flight feathers) at a younger age. Mourning dove nests often have high predation rates. The more juveniles that are present in the nest, the more competition there will be. With more competition, growth rates are slower and fledging age is at a later age. In contrast, single juveniles grow much faster and fledge sooner (Miller 2010).

Family of doves

In 2013, 250,700 mourning doves were harvested in Pennsylvania during the 2013 hunting season. Only 147,200 birds were harvested the following year. 1,007 birds with a known age were banded in 2013, while 993 doves were banded the next year (Seamans). However, populations are mostly increasing despite hunting and high mortality rate (Chipper Woods Bird Observatory).

In captivity, mourning doves can live up to 19 years (American Museum of Natural History), but the average lifespan in the wild is between one and three years. Most doves die before one year; mortality is mostly related to disease and starvation (Clemson Cooperative Extension). The most common diseases affecting mourning doves are avian trichomoniasis, toxicoses, and avian pox. These three diseases alone make up about 73% of all diagnosed diseases. Toxicoses were diagnosed most in the spring, avian pox was diagnosed most in the summer, and trichomoniasis was diagnosed most often in the spring and summer. Overall, diseases are more often diagnosed in the summer and spring months than in the autumn and winter. (Gerhold et al.). Avian trichomoniasis is caused by the protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae. The disease is usually fatal, and a common symptom is necrosis (cell death) in the upper digestive tract of the bird. This disease annually affects mourning doves and other members of the pigeon and dove family; this may contribute to recent population decline in the eastern United States. (Gerhold). Avian pox virus is in the Poxviridae family, which is characterized by large, double-stranded DNA viruses. The virus spreads slowly through both direct and indirect contact. Indirect contact may happen when a bird comes in contact contaminated food, water, perches, dander. Direct contact involves physical contact with affected birds, living or deceased. The virus enters through open wounds or mucous membranes. Mosquitoes are often carriers of the virus, which can easily transmit the virus to birds. Symptoms of avian pox include depression, anorexia, scabs, tumors, weakness, and poor endurance (Pledger).

Dove

Hunters kill more than 20 million doves a year, which is more than any other animal in the country. Doves are also sometimes used as live targets. They are not overpopulated and pose little threat to crops or human structures (The Humane Society of the United States). A small proportion of doves shot by hunters ingest lead pellets, but doves may ingest multiple pellets and die faster. Lead is absorbed through gastrointestinal tract, into blood, soft tissues, and bone tissue. Mostly liver and kidney tissues are infected, leading to lead toxicosis. Doves may accidentally ingest lead while feeding in areas where hunters deposit spent lead pellets and eventually die of lead poisoning. This issue could be solved by banning lead pellets and replacing them with nontoxic alternatives (Schulz, et al. 2007). Nontoxic shot alternatives include bismuth, iron, tin, nickel, and tungsten. Millions of mourning doves die of lead poisoning each year; nearly all doves that have ingested lead fall victim to lead poisoning. Lead pellets have been banned for hunting of waterfowl in the early 1990s, but not for hunting of mourning doves and other game birds. Most dove hunters are not in favor of a ban on the use of lead pellets (Schulz, et al. 2006).

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

It’s magnetic: How animals use their senses to find home

It’s magnetic: How animals use their senses to find home

We learn that there are five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste). And we say that there is the “sixth sense,” meaning intuition or a hunch. But there is a physiological seventh sense that detects magnetic fields and, in some species, an eighth sense that detects electrical fields, and perhaps other senses still to be discovered.

Many animals (and plants!) have magnetoreception: birds, turtles, mice, bats, ants, lobsters, bees, newts, fishes, to list a few examples. The capability is also present in bacteria and may be a basic sense in virtually all organisms. However, it is one thing to demonstrate experimentally that an organism is able to sense and respond to magnetic fields, but it is quite another thing to learn how, or if, the magnetic sense is used by the organism.

A real-life function of magnetic sense is known in many animals. For instance, homing pigeons use magnetic sense to locate their home roost. Migratory birds use magnetoreception as well as celestial cues to find the way between nesting and wintering grounds. Sea turtles use this sense to find their nesting beaches and their hatchlings use it, along with light, to find their way to the sea. Some salamanders and toads use magnetic sense to orient themselves to the shore of a pond or to locate their home pond. Certain ants and bees use magnetic (and other clues) to navigate between their nests and food sources. Salmon use magnetic clues, with odor clues, to navigate back to their ‘home’ streams to spawn. An electrical sense of sharks interacts with magnetic sense, allowing them to orient themselves in the ocean.

The plot thickens, however, as researchers discovered magnetic reception and responses at all stages of fish development. For instance, magnetic fields affect the movement of sperm and their success in fertilizing eggs, as well as the size of the resulting embryos and their orientation. The behavior, orientation, heart rates and hormonal activities of larvae and fry are affected by magnetic fields too. The biological significance of these responses apparently remains to be determined.

And what about magnetic sense in plants, which don’t move around? Experiments have shown effects of magnetic fields on such features as flowering time, seed germination and seedling growth, photosynthesis, the behavior of pollen and roots, and enzyme activity. But the importance of these responses in the real world is anything but clear.

How does magnetoreception work? Only the briefest, most simplistic explanation can fit in the space of this essay. The earth’s main magnetic field has three features that can provide information to suitable receptors. The field varies in intensity, which varies with location and the horizontal or vertical orientation of the force. Another feature is called “inclination,” referring to the distance from the surface to the depths of the earth; inclination is very steep near the poles and flatter near the equator, so it gives an index of distance from the poles (i.e., latitude). The field also can provide a compass direction; the declination of a compass indicates deviation from the North Pole/South Pole axis of rotation of the earth (related, roughly, to longitude, and depending on latitude). In addition to the main field, there are local anomalies, commonly caused by magnetized rock.

How do animals sense those magnetic features? Some animals have tiny particles of magnetic material in their beaks, snouts, brains or elsewhere. Another way involves a protein called cryptochrome, found in both animals (including humans) and plants, which undergoes a complex reaction allowing detection of magnetic inclination. In bird eyes, cryptochrome is activated by blue light and may create a filter for light falling on the retina, making a pattern that changes when a bird moves its head, changing the angle between head and magnetic field. There are other possibilities too. In any case, any information gleaned from magnetic features has to be related to an internal map or some other point of reference, if it is to be used for orientation and navigation.

Note that the magnetic sense is so sensitive that it can work over very small distances, such as when a bird moves its head. It has also been invoked as a possible explanation for how foxes orient that marvelous jump as they pounce with their front feet on a rodent under the snow.

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