Olfactory Orientation by Birds

  • Jerry A. Waldvogel
Part of the Current Ornithology book series (CUOR, volume 6)


An animal’s ability to orient effectively within and between suitable habitats is a matter crucial to survival. Birds, being extremely mobile creatures with high metabolic demands, are more dependent than most vertebrates on successful movements that maximize their utilization of environmental resources. Whether these movements are short flights necessary for the maintenance of a territory, longer foraging trips that may cover many kilometers, or truly long-distance migrations of transcontinental proportions, the need for accurate information about position and direction is fundamental to a bird’s survival and reproductive success. Exactly how birds use the environmental cues that provide this information has been a subject of study for several decades, although our knowledge of the mechanisms that control avian orientation behavior remains far from complete.


Odor Source Homing Pigeon Olfactory Sensitivity Odor Plume Storm Petrel 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry A. Waldvogel
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Neurobiology and BehaviorCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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