Reuters reports that homing pigeons find their way by following roads.
Researchers at Oxford University spent 10 years studying homing pigeons using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and found the birds often don't navigate by taking bearing from the sun.
Instead pigeons fly along roads, turn at junctions and even go around roundabouts, adding miles to their journeys.
Reuters quotes Professor Tim Guilford:
Pigeons use their own navigational system when doing long-distance trips or when a bird does a journey for the first time. But when they have flown a journey more than once they home in on an habitual route home. In short it looks like it is mentally easier for a bird to fly down a road...they are just making their journey as simple as possible.