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A Red Bird in a Brown BagThe Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch$
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Geoffrey E. Hill

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.001.0001

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In the Eye of the Beholder

In the Eye of the Beholder

Color Vision and the Quantification of Color

Chapter:
(p.39) Chapter 3 In the Eye of the Beholder
Source:
A Red Bird in a Brown Bag
Author(s):

Geoffrey E. Hill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.003.0003

This chapter contrasts the tri-stimulus visual system of humans, based on three visual cones, with the tetra-stimulus visual system of birds, based on four visual cones. A key difference between the vision of humans and birds is that birds see ultraviolet light that is invisible to humans. Methods for quantifying plumage color are discussed in addition to methods for scoring the extent of color (patch size) and pigment symmetry.

Keywords:   tri-stimulus, tetra-stimulus, hue, saturation, plumage color, patch size, vision, ultraviolet, color symmetry, pigment symmetry

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