Lateralisation of magnetic compass orientation in silvereyes, Zosterops lateralis
Wolfgang Wiltschko, Ursula Munro, Hugh Ford and Roswitha Wiltschko
Australian Journal of Zoology
51(6) 597 - 602
Published: 19 February 2004
The ability of migratory silvereyes to orient was tested in the geomagnetic field with one eye covered. Silvereyes using only their right eye were able to orient in migratory direction just as well as birds using both eyes. Using only their left eye, however, the birds did not show a significant directional preference. These data indicate that directional information from the magnetic field is mediated almost exclusively by the right eye and processed by the left hemisphere of the brain. Together with corresponding findings from European robins and indications for a similar phenomenon in homing pigeons, they suggest that a strong lateralisation of the magnetic compass is widespread among birds.
Full text doi:10.1071/ZO03022
© CSIRO 2003