[CT Birds] Birds and the color blue

Janet Jerry Connolly birdshop at sbcglobal.net
Fri Feb 12 10:17:51 EST 2010


I sent the query on to Tim Goldsmith, professor emeritus, Yale, in  
the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology Dept., who has  
extensively studied vision in birds.

He's away, but sent this answer via his Blackberry:

Most birds not only see blue, they distinguish it from near UV and  
green.   See Scientific American for July, 2006.   As for owls, they  
have a rod-rich retina adapted for night vision, so their color  
vision may not be as good as that of diurnal species.  However, I am  
not aware of any studies of color vision in owls.
Moral:  don't believe everything you read on the insides of bottle caps.

Read more about Tim's work here: http://www.biology.yale.edu/ 
facultystaff/goldsmithTH.html

Janet Connolly
The Audubon Shop
Madison




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