U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Jon Hagstrum believes birds may navigate home in migration by using Earth’s “low-frequency sound waves to identify the ‘address’ of home.”

How would that work?

“They are imprinting on the characteristic sound” of where they live, he told a crowd this week at a lecture at USGS headquarters in Menlo Park. “The terrain has characteristic frequencies. I think that is the sound they are listening to.”

Birds may even perceive the world as a vast sonic environment, hearing many frequencies bouncing off different landmarks, such as mountains and buildings, generated by the Earth’s movement.

Fascinating stuff!

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.