Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Picture of the Day

Scientists discover how birds navigate crosswinds

While pilots rely on radio signals, advanced computations and other tools to keep them on course during strong crosswinds, birds can naturally navigate these demanding conditions -- in environments with little visibility. To understand how, National Science Foundation-funded researchers studied lovebirds flying in a crosswind tunnel that features customizable wind and light settings. The results could inspire more robust and computationally efficient visual control algorithms for autonomous aerial robots. This is the first study of how birds orient their bodies, necks and heads to fly through extreme 45-degree crosswinds over short ranges -- both in bright visual environments and in dark, cave-like environments, where faint points of light are the only beacons. The lovebirds navigated all environments equally well. The researchers found that lovebirds navigate by stabilizing and fixating their gaze on the goal, while yawing their bodies into a crosswind. Staying on course requires them to contort their necks by 30 degrees or more. A computer-simulated model indicated that, while neck control is active, body reorientation into the wind is achieved passively.

Visit Website | Image credit: L.A. Cicero