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Thread subject: Perception of colors by birds...
Name Date Message
martyc35 01/21/11 05:46 pm This topic came up down a few threads, and I found this interesting comment in the concluding section of a scholarly paper on the topic: "Multiple foveae and other specialized regions that are suggested by nonuniform distributions of oil droplets (such as the red quadrant of the pigeon's retina) indicate a degree of complexity that is not present in the human eye and for which our own sensory experience provides little intuitive understanding. Birds may have a generalized system of color vision, but individual species may also have features of their eyes adapted to specific visual tasks or conditions, and attention to this ecological dimension in formulating hypotheses about visual function is likely to be critical." The whole paper is online and can be read HERE. One thing that has been established is that birds can see ultra-violet rays, while we cannot. A mention of certain fishing birds with abilities developed to see into blue water also caught my eye (so to speak).
marty
cathleen 01/22/11 07:43 pm There we are! Thanks, Marty. I think Lisa is on to something interesting here, and maybe we can keep a special eye out for the "blueness" quotient in osprey nests, with a thought to selection for fishing expertise and how it might serve a secondary purpose...
Anne UK1 01/23/11 06:46 am All way too technical for me to follow, but fascinating stuff. There's so much we don't know, but one thing's for sure - the animal kingdom is pretty amazing.
Celeste 01/23/11 09:35 am I did look over the paper, (but it lost me), found Marty's description "to the point", and Anne you put it best...it is amazing!
martyc35 01/23/11 01:28 pm It is technical, but a few things are helpful in giving us educated guesses about the ospreys, especially their relationship to blue objects. What would be really helpful would be some long-term observations of objects in other fishing birds' nests. That we don't have. Makes me realize just how much we know about ospreys with folks all over the world watching them, and how little we know about terns:-).
marty
Pam 01/24/11 06:29 pm Here's an article I spotted today - somewhat relevant to this topic:
Colour preference

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