Varying ability to see UV light may account for birds’ wild diversity of color, such as the brilliant blue plumage that male fairy-wrens use to stand out from their surroundings.
“The reproductive success of males can depend a great deal on plumage coloration and just how conspicuous or ‘good-looking’ the male doing the courting is, something that might be preferred by females,” says Monash University ornithologist Kaspar Delhey.
“We found that higher UV sensitivity increased the contrast of the blue plumage against the natural environment, possibly making these colors more attractive.”
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