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about

Navigating animals rely on many cues in their environment to successfully reach their destination. Sea Turtles are known to use the angle of the magnetic pull of the earth’s poles. Many think that birds use similar mechanisms. Homing pigeons are extreme navigational opportunists, imprinting on a specific location and able to return to it from distances exceeding 1000 miles. Homing pigeons will orient themselves using the sun, if available, and then rely on a variety of map cues. In addition to magnetism pigeons are thought to use infrasound; the deep sounds (below human hearing) that are generated by deep ocean waves reverberating through the land and atmosphere. Supersonic jets and earthquakes can also produce infrasound and pigeons close to these events have been confused by them. If pigeons have travelled a route before, however, they ignore inbuilt navigation and instead opt for the mentally easier option of following roads even though this can add distance. They have been observed to fly around a roundabout, taking the appropriate exit for their destination. Homing pigeons are strong fliers able to reach speeds approaching 60 miles per hour, and able to average 50 miles per hour for up to 10 hours. They have an excellent memory for faces and are able to recognize human faces despite clothing changes. This song was written after the pigeon fancier Ron Diener visited our university and noticed the thriving of the children of his home congregation in a way unavailable to him had he simply stayed home and waited for them to return. It was co-written with Jonathan Reuel who lived in Bolivia with Ron. Pigeons teach us how to return home and about God's grace which when imprinted on God's creatures provides a rich variety of navigational cues.

lyrics

flocks a song about homing pigeons

All the motion of the room around me
All the blurring of the lights
All the people with their arms out reaching
for great heights

We are all such a long way from home
Still I feel alright
All the children been imprinted by this love
Shine so bright, baby

Coo
Release me
Enfold me
Direct me
And I’m going to fly a long long way to home
Strengthen me
And I always know just the right way to go
Imprint me
Imprint me

All the features of the world around me
All the features of your face
All the features of magnets and sunshine
All God’s grace

We recognize it all around us
And we feel alright
All the children been imprinted by this love
Shine so bright, baby
Coo

credits

from Of Every Creature, released October 4, 2013
Written by Trevor Bechtel and Jonathan Reuel

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about

anabaptist bestiary project Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rocking the world through reflection on creatures the Anabaptist Bestiary Project is a ten piece alternative rock ensemble under the creative direction of Trevor Bechtel. The ABP collects vocal and instrumental musicians from Bluffton University to delve into the artistic and literary heritage of the spirituality of creatureliness. ... more

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