Ornithologists have found that the bright feathers of the wings protect birds from collisions with each other

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of researchers from the US, Germany and China have found that the bright color of the ventral wings keeps birds from colliding with each other. The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

After studying the color of the feathers of 1,780 species of birds, scientists found that the wings of birds living in colonies were much brighter than those of solitary birds.

At the same time, larger species of birds had the brightest feathers. Scientists explain this pattern by the lesser maneuverability of large birds, which is why they need more noticeable warning signals so as not to collide with relatives.

“Heavier birds such as the Californian condor, American white pelican and American crane have reduced maneuverability, limiting their ability to make sharp and fast turns to avoid mid-flight collisions.

The results of the analysis also suggest that smaller species, such as songbirds, are better at avoiding collisions in general or using other mechanisms,” the authors note.

In addition, bright feathers on the ventral wings help birds protect themselves from predators. For example, bright black and pink spots on the wings of flamingos signal danger to other birds, and also allow birds to more accurately navigate in space and not collide with each other while escaping from predators.


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