The Relative Importance of Location and Feature Cues for Homing Pigeon (Columba livid) Goal Recognition

Rosemary Strasser, Verner P. Bingman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Homing pigeons were raised and trained in two lofts that differed with respect to their color features and location in space. During training, pigeons displayed accurate site preference for a particular loft. When tested for loft preference with the feature cues switched between the 2 lofts, the pigeons returned to the loft that occupied the correct location. In a 2nd experiment, pigeons were trained to find food hidden in 1 of 4 color bowls (feature cues) located next to a landmark beacon (proximal spatial cue) in a constant location in a room (distal spatial cues). On test trials, pigeons chose the bowl at the correct location in the room if either the color bowl or the beacon was moved by itself but chose the correct color bowl next to the beacon if they were moved together. Together, the data suggest that the importance of location and feature information for goal recognition may be context specific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996


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