Date of Submission

Spring 2021

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Bruce Robertson

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Polarized light vision is a broad field of study spanning many species from insects to cephalopods to reptiles. The presence of polarized light can provide an important cue to aid in navigation, communication, and resource locating in many animals. The field of bird polarization vision is still fairly young and not a lot is known about how birds use polarized light. Most research in the field has focused on how birds use skylight polarization for navigation. Recent research has provided promising results for the potential of birds using visible spectrum polarized light to locate water and food. Birds do not only see light on the visible spectrum, though. They can see UV light as well. There has been no research on whether birds can see polarized UV light. This study attempts to address this gap in our knowledge by asking the question of whether birds can see polarized UV light and use it as a cue to locate resources. I investigated this question by assessing the current literature on both polarized light vision and bird UV vision and by observing visitation frequencies of birds to high UV polarizing feeders and low UV polarizing feeders. I found that birds tended to visit the highly UV polarizing feeder more frequently, suggesting that they can detect the presence of UV polarized light and that they are attracted to it.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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