I have always wondered how pigeons and some other birds fly in a certain order, they line up so perfectly it is just hard to imagine. You will see the birds at the front of a flock leading the navigation and all the group follows.
The article from Nature News published on 7 April 2010 reported that although pigeons have an almost 340º field of view, the researchers found that the birds at the front of a flock tended to make the navigational decisions. Moreover, birds responded more readily to a leader's movements if the leader was on their left side. When researchers used Global Positioning System (GPS) devices was able to collect data at a rate of five times per second.These researchers strapped lightweight GPS devices to individual pigeons and tracked flocks of up to 10 birds during free flights lasting around 12 minutes and 15-kilometer homing flights. In total, the GPS logged 32 hours of data and captured 15 group flights. These researchers were unable to pinpoint individuals' exact positions within a flock, but were able to accurately compare birds' directions of motion. These researchers looked first at the behavior of pairs of birds. For each possible pairing, the team identified a leader — the bird that changed direction first — and a follower, which copied the leader's motion. According to these researchers followers reacted very quickly, within a fraction of a second.
The animal behavior is very interesting, it is amazing how they communicate and come up with this unique presentation. I do not have enough knowledge when it comes to animal behavior, but I think it is very interesting field of study.
Posted by Anna Moreno