It's life Jim, but not as we know it! (rosequoll) wrote in wtf_nature,
It's life Jim, but not as we know it!
rosequoll
wtf_nature

Glowing parrots!

Second post, sorry! I wanted to post about the awesomeness of glowing parrots.

"There is another pigment (or pigments) that have been reported only in parrots. These, rather than carotenoids, produce the yellows, oranges and reds. There are two types of yellow, one of which has a fascinating property: it fluoresces under ultraviolet (UV) or black light. Although originally reported in 1937 (O. Völker, J. Ornithol. 85: 136-146), little work has been done on this unusual property since. This phenomenon can be seen in the accompanying 'before and after' photographs. One image shows the parrot under normal lighting, the other under UV. The UV photos were taken using a commercial UV light tube and a wooden box, with the room lights turned off."

Gallery: http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/birds/stuff/glowing_parrots01.htm

And I took pictures of my own birds under UV. I can't find the original ones that my icon comes from, but my icon is my short-billed corella (bare-eyed cockatoo) under UV. Any areas that are yellow on her glow a peachy orange under UV. These pictures were taken in December last year.


Closeup photos of corella and sulfer crested cockatoo feathers:
 
 

First, Nara, my corella, and the most impressive of the 'glowers'. The very pale yellow areas around her cheek glow faintly as well, but I couldn't get a photo of that.
 

Following pictures are all of a very light (almost neon green) and yellow female budgie with light barring and headstripes:
 
 

This pictures is of a light (dilute?) male yellow headed budgie with a blue/grey body. His wings had almost no glowing (very slight).


The first picture is of my lutino budgie, Jack. His body colour didn't glow, but did look green under blacklight. His wings were only very very lightly UV reactive.


This is Luna, a double factor pied (white with a very small amount of blue, and black eyes) male. No glowing on body or wings, and none on the head as well, which surprised me. Slight glowing of his nares.


I find it interesting that neither lorikeet glows (though the light blue on the rainbow reflects a bit), and neither of the pink birds glow. I didn't expect Adoni (galah) to glow at all, as he's pink and grey, but I expected my rosa bourke, sherbet to glow. Maybe not the pink, but look at those yellows:
http://marsupalia.com/gallery/albums/batchuploads/massupload/bourkes%20parrot/RQ121897.jpg
http://marsupalia.com/gallery/albums/batchuploads/massupload/bourkes%20parrot/sherbet3.jpg
Tags: parrots
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