What's happening? They are losing their inner-compass...
The migratory pattern of birds - even if it is a dry subject and the aim of comedic cracks - for some odd reason, has always held the high fascination of biologists.
Never more so than now...
That's because the classic experiments were so predictable. Such as a cage with some kind of monitors to catch which direction the bird wanted to travel at night.
That is, until it started going tragically wrong in the mid-2000s.
German researchers discovered in 2004 that the regular experiment became an erratic mystery while observing the European Robin.
They would not orient themselves in a single direction. They would not hop in a direction. They were shut down. They were completely lost. Changing variables like food, light, cages...lots of things - didn't do a thing according to biologist Henrik Mouritsen. For three years they tried to solve the mystery.