Avian Expert Articles

How Feathers Color Our World

There is a psychology that surrounds colors. With an inevitable study of how colors impact our lives, much as many other factors do, we have learned that all the colors of the spectrum have their powers. It’s in the color selections that we choose to paint our interior walls, matching our moods, pieces of art, and sectional décor. It’s in the furniture colors, rug designs, and so many other things that we choose to complement our lives with. They make us happy. That’s the power of color.

blue-and-gold macaw; blue & gold, military macaw, green macawWhat can be more colorful than your bird? You and I are lovers of birds. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be here, right? If you watch birds in the wild — and I’m betting you do — then a flock of birds in singular shades of brown and white doesn’t capture your view as much as a brightly colored male Northern Cardinal in all its red glory. If you’re lucky, you will see the male’s mate, the green-colored female. A Blue Jay coming to your feeder will earn your rapt attention for more than a few minutes. As will an Oriole, a flock of finches, or even the brightly colored, fast-moving hummingbirds.

The colors of an exotic bird are an extraordinary feature. The parrot, with all of the primary colors that make up its feathered body, is a beautiful creature. The same can be said of a parakeet, the stunningly beautiful Rainbow Lorikeet, a Macaw, and the resplendent feathers of a peacock. Many birds in the world have gorgeous displays of colors that are enticing to the discriminate human eye. Just as well, those colors are soothing to our being.

How Colors Affect People

In a study of psychology where colors and their effects on human nature are concerned, it is often determined that blues evoke calm behaviors. Brighter yellows help to effect cheerfulness and warmth, a feature that the shining sun contributes to. Reds are a deep color that encourages love as it seems related to the cartoon color of the heart and the pervading color of Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. Whites are a color that demonstrates purity. After all, the white of freshly fallen snow often evoke a sense of freshness, a new beginning. Orange colors and shades signify a sense of excitement, while purples give off an impression of ascendancy, a feeling of royalty likely linked to the rich purples of gowns and cloaks seen on kings and queens of old. Of course, there are more colors. But imagine a marriage of many of these colors and the collective sense of peace and comfort they bring. That’s what an exotic bird often brings to our lives. How perfect is that?

Birds’ Use Of Colors And How Color Is Created

There are, no doubt, effects that colors of a bird’s plumage have on each other. In mating, some studies suggest that birds not only discern colors (or pay little to no attention to them at all), but also see UV light reflecting off, or being absorbed by, the colors of the feathers. This ability to detect UV rays and its effects often plays multiple roles in various bird activities.

There is a science, of course, as to how colors of a bird’s feathers come to be. A brief flight around the internet cage will be more than adequate to inform you of the role melanin plays, as well as feather structure, mutations, and psittacin levels, in the creation of the colorful display of a bird’s feathers. It’s a rewarding exploration that will help you to gain an even deeper fascination and appreciation of your beautifully colored bird. After all, their colors contribute wonderfully to your own psychological health and your complete enjoyment of them.

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