Biological aspects of bird colouration and avian colour vision including ultraviolet range

Vision Res. 1994 Jun;34(11):1509-14. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90152-x.


Many diurnal birds possess a set of four spectrally different types of cone photoreceptor. The spectral range of vision is extended into the UV by a UV receptor. We have investigated the spectral properties of plumage colours including the UV by reflection spectroscopy. Some basic general principles of colour vision indicate that plumage colours are tuned to avian colour vision.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Birds / physiology*
  • Color
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Feathers*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Ultraviolet Rays*