Not about everything

November 29, 2007

Does the Great Tit have a mask in UV-light?

Does the Great Tit have a mask in UV-light?
Does the Great Tit have a mask in ultraviolet light? This photo has been processed to enhance the blue on the head of the bird. It was taken by a regular digital camera (Canon 350D) without UV-filter, while the bird was in full sunlight. The Great Tit is supposed to have a coal black head, and that is also what our eyes see. But even a normal camera can capture UV-light, and will probably show it as blue.I did some searches and found a research paper that mentioned the Great Tit indeed has a crown that reflects UV-light. But I could not find out if there is a visible pattern on the head of the Great Tit in UV-light. If the blue really is caused by UV, then the black parts can be some shadows, or they can be a color pattern that only shows up in UV. It seems that the Great Tit has a black beard and a black mask. I have some more photos of the same individu which display a similar pattern.

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