Pigeons with Backpacks

Photo: Zsuzsa Ákos

Next on Milan Fashion Week is this trendy backpack for pigeons! Just kidding - that's actually part of a scientific study led by Tamás Vicsek of Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, to determine which bird in a flock of pigeons is the dominant one:

If you're a scientist and you want to learn which birds lead the flock during flights and which follow, there's probably no better way to research that question than to fit the birds with little backpacks containing GPS devices and track them. Really.

So that's exactly what some scientists did. They strapped GPS-bearing backpacks onto homing pigeons, then followed their flight patterns in minute detail.


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