Thanks to UV vision, birds see the world in a different way. A very different way.
Birds have the amazing ability to see a whole spectrum of colors that are invisible to humans.
Back in 2007, scientists used a spectrophotometer to analyze the colors of 166 North American songbird species which did not have an apparent physical difference between the sexes.
They were amazed by what they found, to say the least.
From a human’s perspective, in 92 percent of species, both males and females look identical.
However, the study showed that these birds have colors that are simply undetectable by our eye and that they use those colors to differentiate their genders by.
As it turned out, birds are tetrachromats, they see four colors: UV, blue, green and red, whereas humans are trichromats and can only see three colors: blue, green, red.
Hence the differences in vision demonstrated by these pictures.
(Bear in mind, that the magenta UV ‘color’ shown here has been chosen to make it visible for us humans, it is a ‘false color’, as per definition UV light has no color.)
In another experiment, scientists placed stuffed male and female Chats in the wild to see how the living birds would react to them.
The wild Chats attacked the stuffed male and tried winning over the stuffed female, meaning the birds were actually seeing something the scientists didn’t.
‘Bird’s eye view’ has much more to it than the panorama.