An Experimental Test of the Effect of Seed-Color-Contrast on Food Preferences of House Finches

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

An Experimental Test of the Effect of Seed-Color-Contrast on Food Preferences of House Finches An Experimental Test of the Effect of Seed-Color-Contrast on Food Preferences of House Finches We will test the role of seed-color-contrast on the feeding preferences of house finches from Arizona. House finches are an exceptionally common and colorful visitor of backyards throughout the United States. The design of this study will largely follow our previous captive experiments (Bascunan et al. 2009), with the main modification being adding a black contrasting background (black oil sunflower) to the colored seed presentations. As opposed to conducting these tests in backyards using feeders, we will perform this work on individually caged birds because we can isolate potentially confounding and uncontrolled factors that exist in the field, including influences of habitat, the presence of predators or competitive heterospecifics, motivational/nutritional state of birds, etc. We predict that especially brightly colored seeds, like yellow, will stand out more against a dark background and be consumed more than we found in previous studies, which would have important implications for how seeds are color-engineered and marketed for contrast ability, not just coloration per se.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date5/1/108/10/10

Funding

  • Central Avian & Small Animal Research: $9,900.00

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