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Migrating Birds Rely on Magnetic Fields

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Migrating Birds Rely on Magnetic Fields

Science

Migrating Birds Rely on Magnetic Fields

Migrating Birds Rely on Magnetic Fields

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1838950/1838951" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Scientists discover that night-migrating songbirds use sunsets to update the magnetic information they use to guide them between their tropical winter feeding grounds and their temperate summer feeding grounds. They exposed the birds to magnetic field lines that differed from the Earth's magnetic field and followed them by car as they flew in the wrong direction all night. The next night however, after sunset, they corrected their flight path. NPR's Richard Harris reports.