Feather Color in Birds

Anyone who knows me, or has read my articles knows that I am passionate about wild birds; and not just because of their colors. There are many birds that lack bright and powerful hues and tints. It is the way nature has designed and used those colors to enhance birds’ survival that evokes my appreciation.

Pigment and the way a feather is constructed determine the color of birds’ feathers. The pigments come from just 3 different groups.

Melanins which produce black, brown, rust and pale yellow
Carotenoids that absorb blue light and turn it into red, orange and bright yellow
Porphyrins which make pink, brown, green and rusty red

Humans, animals and plants all have melanin present in different amounts and for different reasons:

In people, melanin determines the color of our skin, the iris of our eyes and the color of our hair. Continue reading Feather Color in Birds

Detecting Motion Within Motion While Moving – Humans Have Evolved to Great Visual Acuity

Have you ever read the newspaper and there was a story about a police officer shooting someone they’d been chasing because it looked like they were going to pull out a gun, and instead it was their wallet to show ID, or worse a kid with a toy gun? Yes, it happens, and we all cringe when it does. We often think that poor kid or that poor police officer that now has to deal with the psychological repercussions that he shot someone’s son, and usually it’s even worse because the officer has sons of his own – the psychological trauma, not to mention the death are quite troubling. Continue reading Detecting Motion Within Motion While Moving – Humans Have Evolved to Great Visual Acuity