The Colour and Colour Vision of Birds

11:00 am
National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore


Professor Trevor Price, Professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolution gave a talk on "The Colour and Colour Vision of Birds" at The National Center for Biological Sciences in Bangalore. 

The spectacular diversity of colours in nature remain largely unexplained; why is one species of bird living in the forest blue and another species red? In this talk, Professor Price will compare two groups of birds: the Old World warblers of the Himalayas, which are all rather similar in colour (green and pale yellow), and the distantly related New World warblers of North America, which can be red, blue, yellow and all colours in between.

Professor Price argued that we can gain insights into the causes of colour variation by asking if different species of birds see colour differently from each other. For example, red birds may perceive many more different shades of red than blue birds. He will describe the basics of colour vision in humans, which is by far the best understood species in this respect, and then consider what we know about birds, and the limited information on whether different species of birds do indeed may differ in how they see colours.