Birds of Indian Subcontinent


Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1964
Authors:Rear, J
Date Published:1964
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Anatidae, Anser, Branta, Branta bernicla, Fulica, Fulica atra, Phasianidae, Phasianus colchicus
Abstract:Summary The young of 41 species of Anatidae, mainly from the Anserini, Tadornini, Anatini and Cairinini were tested for colour preference. For comparison, two species of gull, two of rails and three of pheasants were tested in the same experimental apparatus—a small closed box in which gelatine filter spots, red, orange, yellow, green, blue-green and blue, could be placed before a source of indirect light. A preference for green was general throughout the ducks and geese, and some species and individuals also pecked selectively at yellow. The tribes and genera differed in the extent of their avoidance of other colours; geese of the genus Branta and the sheldgeese tended to ignore blue, while Anser geese, the Anatini and Cairinini markedly ignored red and orange. Members of the Phasianidae showed a similar preference for green. It was confirmed that gulls and the Moorhen, which normally peck at red on the adult's bill to obtain food, select red spots, as also does the Coot, although here the parent's bill is white. It is concluded that there are certain broad correlations between feeding habit and the birds' unlearned colour preference in the pecking response, but more importantly, that closely related species tend to show similar preferences even when their food is quite different.
Short Title:Ibis
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith