Colour preferences of UK garden birds at supplementary seed feeders
Rothery, Luke; Scott, Graham W.; Morrell, Lesley J.
Professor Graham Scott G.Scott@hull.ac.uk
Director, Teaching Excellence Academy
Professor Lesley Morrell L.Morrell@hull.ac.uk
Associate Dean, Education (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Supplementary feeding of garden birds generally has benefits for both bird populations and human wellbeing. Birds have excellent colour vision, and show preferences for food items of particular colours, but research into colour preferences associated with artificial feeders is limited to hummingbirds. Here, we investigated the colour preferences of common UK garden birds foraging at seed-dispensing artificial feeders containing identical food. We presented birds simultaneously with an array of eight differently coloured feeders, and recorded the number of visits made to each colour over 370 30-minute observation periods in the winter of 2014/15. In addition, we surveyed visitors to a garden centre and science festival to determine the colour preferences of likely purchasers of seed feeders. Our results suggest that silver and green feeders were visited by higher numbers of individuals of several common garden bird species, while red and yellow feeders received fewer visits. In contrast, people preferred red, yellow, blue and green feeders. We suggest that green feeders may be simultaneously marketable and attractive to foraging birds.
Rothery, L., Scott, G. W., & Morrell, L. J. (2017). Colour preferences of UK garden birds at supplementary seed feeders. PLoS ONE, 12(2), Article e0172422. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172422
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Feb 4, 2017|
|Online Publication Date||Feb 17, 2017|
|Publication Date||Feb 17, 2017|
|Deposit Date||Feb 27, 2017|
|Publicly Available Date||Nov 23, 2017|
|Publisher||Public Library of Science|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Birds; Foraging; Colour vision|
|Additional Information||This is a copy of an article published in PLoS one, 2017, v.12 issue 2.|
© 2017 Rothery et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.