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Bird vision explained
Bird Vision Concepts
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Species identification
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Featuring our visual ecology research ...

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We humans take a lot of advantage of our visual environment by communicating ideas through variations in colors, shapes, orientations, etc. Birds also rely on vision substantially since they use it to move in three dimensions while flying. Actually, birds’ eyes are proportionally big in relation to their body sizes.

The question of how birds see their world has captivated scholars since many centuries ago. This fascination has its roots on the great visual ability of raptors (hawks, falcons) to detect and successfully capture prey from far distances. However, raptor vision is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the variability in how birds see their world.

There are about 9,600 species of birds, each exploiting a specific set of ecological conditions (different habitats, food types, light levels, etc.). This variability in ecological conditions is likely to have influenced the evolution of different visual systems. By simply looking at the morphological variability in the placement of the eyes in the skull, the shape and size of the beaks, and the environment in which different species obtain their food, one can predict the types of food birds may be after (seeds, insects, fish, etc.) and the means of obtaining the food (pecking, probing, filter-feeding, fishing, etc.).



Download the following file and establish the shape and size of the beaks of each of these species, and predict the food they eat (such as, seeds, flowers, insects, etc.).



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Updated: 01/09/2010 Copyright 2007-2010 - Esteban Fernandez-Juricic