Dataset for the main results of "Navigation by extrapolation of geomagnetic cues in a migratory songbird"

Published: 2 February 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/k4prgc5gdw.1
Dmitry Kishkinev,
Florian Packmor,
Thomas Zechmeister,
Hans-Christoph Winkler,
Nikita Chernetsov,
Henrik Mouritsen,
Richard Holland


Preprocessed data for mean individual directions of orientation of Eurasian reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus). The dataset was used for the main result figure (Figure 3. Predictions and results for the virtual magnetic displacements) in the publication titled "Navigation by extrapolation of geomagnetic cues in a migratory songbird". This dataset shows the orientation of birds in two experiments: (1) Experiment 1 when the birds were tested under the natural magnetic field conditions (NMF), and then under the declination-only changed magnetic field condition (dCMF); (2) Experiment 2 when the orientation of birds was first tested under the NMF conditions and when all magnetic field parameters were changed (aCMF). We tested the orientation of long-distance migrants, Eurasian reed warblers, exposing them to geomagnetic cues of unfamiliar magnitude only encountered beyond their natural distribution range. The birds demonstrated re-orientation towards their natural migratory corridor as if they were translocated to the corresponding geographic location but only when all naturally occurring magnetic cues were presented, not when declination was changed alone. This result represents direct evidence for migratory birds’ ability to navigate using geomagnetic cues extrapolated beyond the range of magnitude they previously experienced.



Keele University, Bangor University, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg


Animal Behavior, Animal Navigation, Animal Orientation, Magnetism, Sensory Mechanisms, Avian Species, Migration, Magnetic Field Measurement