I have been reading about the theory of magnetoreception which may partially explain the homing ability of pigeons. Many studies are inconclusive, so I am wondering if I can extend this theory to other animals, specifically to the Beech Marten (aka Stone or House Marten, Martes foina). This animal is a pest in continental Europe, where it likes to inhabit the roof space of houses. It stinks the place out, so you are forced to get rid of it. I use a legal trap and release the animal in a wooded area. This time it seems I made a mistake because I released the animal 25 km away. Afterwards I learned from various sources, all experts agree that I should have released it at least 60 km away, otherwise it will surely come back home. I would like to assess the likelihood that it can do this, in unknown terrain in the dark (it’s a nocturnal animal). I transported the animal in a very round about route. It was always in the dark trap box and it could not have known it was being transported at all, could it? How can it know with all the twists and turns of the route that it was let out 25 km north of home? So when it was let loose in an unknown place, how is it supposed to know where it is in relation to home? It stretches my imagination to believe that over such a short distance as 25km an animal can use the earth’s magnetic field alone to know where it is in relation to the magnetic coordinates of home. So is the 60 km safe minimum to be believed? I am suspicious of this number because the self-appointed experts don’t mention what lies between (towns, rivers, highways, etc.). If I first drive round in circles a bit, would that fix the problem? Do homing pigeons find their way in the dark without training and being taken to a new starting point blindfolded? In Europe the revere of a Beech Martin is about 2 square km, so it would need to approach this area before it gets local cues. Perhaps say about 5 km from home before it gets olfactory cues. Or am I underestimating the sensitivity to olfactory cues?