Birds Have Bionic Vision

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-a3fecf30f98b9a5c680122e2fc921b35-Bird Eye.jpg
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 [12]-[14]…”

Ok, we have no idea what that sentence means, but the point of the study is that birds can see magnetic fields…or….something.

i-ed41a42fe87ba04322af0276fb30e3da-Bird Eye II.jpg
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.


  1. #1 Homie Bear
    September 28, 2007

    I want one of those molecules in my eye!

  2. #2 John McKay
    September 28, 2007

    Does it make the bionic noise like Steve Austin’s eyes did?

  3. #3 Aditya
    September 29, 2007

    I really enjoy reading Zooillogix. Please do post more often!

    Talking about birds crapping on our heads, one managed to do it when I was running in a 100m sprint. To think of the probability of parabolically moving crap falling on a linearly moving tuft of hair is simply beyond me.

  4. #4 AP
    September 30, 2007

    Aditya, that you’re moving doesn’t matter unless the bird was aiming for you. And even then, modulo wind resistance, all the bird has to do is match your velocity and bombs away.

  5. #5 Tender
    October 12, 2007

    I enjoy reading Zooillogix also. It’ll be great to do such kind of posts more often!

  6. Crap on our heads! Ha ha…great last sentence there.

  7. #7 Emilio Muckenthaler
    July 2, 2012

    If anyone decides to go forward with making that list of 50 let me know I’ll be happy to chime in! Here’s a single: Anything is possible with WordPress as the developer you never ever will should notify a client that their site can’t do something…

  8. #8 Arif
    July 5, 2012

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  9. #9 Earth's New Beginning
    July 5, 2012

    your all blogs is genuinely amazed.i impressed to see your creativity.this is another attractive blog you post.Thanks for sharing and please keep sharing

  10. #10 Sargylana
    July 6, 2012

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  11. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  12. #12 blackpeoplemeet
    July 8, 2012

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.