Science: The Physics of Pigeons

How does a homing pigeon navigate, often over hundreds of miles of territory it has never seen before? Professor (of physics) Henry L. Yeagley of Pennsylvania State College thinks he has found the pigeony secret. Last week, on General Electric's Science Forum broadcast, he described the pigeon experiments he has been doing for the Army Signal Corps.

Yeagley began with the idea, not original with him, that a homing pigeon is equipped with some sort of "magnetic compasses," i.e , some sensitivity to the earth's magnetism. Yeagley tested this notion by fastening small...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!