Birds have the ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field, and now scientists believe that they may actually “see” it with their eyes. According to a study posted on PLoS, a molecule known to be in birds’ eyes that is sensitive to magnetic fields is directly linked to a part of birds’ brains where visual information is processed.
I see London. I see France…
As the study puts it, “In garden warblers, Sylvia borin, the cryptochrome-expressing retinal ganglion cells and a neuronal cluster located in posterolateral regions of both forebrain hemispheres (“Cluster N”) show high, sensory-driven neuronal activity as indicated by the expression of the Immediate Early Gene ZENK during magnetic orientation -…”
Ok, we have no idea what that sentence means, but the point of the study is that birds can see magnetic fields…or….something.
Two, well trained (and armed) special forces members as seen through the eyes of a bird in a South American jungle.
At any rate, the study sheds light on how migratory birds can consistently find their way across large distances, through all different weather conditions, year after year, without any electronic equipment. Scientists are speculating that the birds can align themselves with a magnetic compass that is actually in their field of vision. How they manage to so accurately crap on our heads, however, remains a mystery.