Good question. Here is one part of a good answer.


  1. #1 Ahcuah
    July 17, 2013

    I would also add that, when the magnetic field reverses, it’s not as if it suddenly switches overnight. It diminishes, it moves about, it does all sorts of variation, and then, after thousands of years, finally stabilizes in the opposite polarity. So birds have plenty of time to slowly change (evolve!) and keep up with it.

  2. #2 Calli Arcale
    July 18, 2013

    Ahcuah — they probably don’t evenneed to evolve. For those that have a magnetic sense, it doesn’t say “go this way”. It says “there’s stuff that is along these lines” and the birds can use that as a landmark in figuring out where they are and how to get to where they want to be. So the field flipping isn’t that big of a deal. If they can navigate in spite of rivers completely changing courses and humans going and reworking the whole landscape, I’m sure they can recognize and adjust to variations in the magnetic field.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    July 18, 2013

    But yooz guys need to go read the post because you are WRONG. (ish)