Tag: Birds

  1. Bird Brain? Not so fast...

    By mid-March, birds like the Louisiana water thrush and the blue-headed vireo will be returning to the Great Smoky Mountains. They will have traveled hundreds of miles, mostly at night — perhaps across the Gulf of Mexico — from as far away as Central America, to their summer home in the Smokies.

    The mystery of precisely how birds navigate on these epic journeys has never been completely solved. Plausible theories have included using the stars to navigate, using magnetic fields, watching landscape features like mountain ranges and coastlines, and their sense of smell. Now a new idea from Dr. Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey has the birding world chirping.

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