Use of Ultraviolet Light as an Aid in Age Classification of Owls

  title={Use of Ultraviolet Light as an Aid in Age Classification of Owls},
  author={C. Scott Weidensaul and Bruce A. Colvin and David F. Brinker and J. Steven Huy},
Abstract Use of ultraviolet (UV) light, which causes porphyrin pigments in feathers of some birds to fluoresce, provides a simple, effective means of distinguishing multiple generations of flight feathers in owls. This permits easier and more accurate classification of age of adult owls. This lighting technique has been used extensively with Barn Owls (Tyto alba) and Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) and works well on a variety of owl species at night in the field, and should have wide… 
Evaluated methods of analysis indicate that ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence may be the most sensitive indicator of light-induced degradation.
Distribution of protoporphyrin IX in bird feathers
The pigment emitting salmon pink fluorescence was analyzed using reflection and absorption spectrophotometry, and it was found that the rachises of oriental turtle dove plumage emitted salmon pinkfluorescence under UVA irradiation similarly as those of owls and bustards.
Plumage coloration and morphometrics of the Little Owl Athene noctua in the Western Palearctic
A very large variation of morphological and color patterns between individuals collected in the same geographical area is found, and the arrangement of individuals to any Little owls' subspecies on morphological data appears to be a very difficult task.
Feather content of porphyrins in Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) fledglings depends on body condition and breeding site quality.
It is hypothesized that the porphyrin content of feathers may depend on body condition and breeding site quality in Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) fledglings and, thus, constitute amplifiers of the quality of the area where they are born and suggested that good breeding sites may lead to fledgling in good condition.
Season and Age as Factors in Barred Owl (Strix varia) Admissions
  • Glori Berry
  • Environmental Science
    Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin
  • 2012
Barred owl admittance data from Avian Haven, a wildlife rehabilitation facility in central Maine, were examined from April 2005 through March 2011. During this time, 231 barred owls were admitted to
Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic Control of Avian Communication Based on Colorful Plumage Porphyrins
Synthesis of patterns indicated that VS visual systems always evolved prior to colorful plumage porphyrins, suggesting a sensory bias for plumage pigments based on signal-receptor alignment.
Delineating the origin of migratory Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) in Indiana using stable isotope analysis
ABSTRACT The Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) is a highly migratory owl that occurs throughout North America. Banding stations have studied the migratory habits of this species, but these
The best dressed are less stressed: associations between colouration and body condition in a North American owl
Facial white, but not eye colour, was a robust predictor of short- and long-term body condition, permitting detection of individuals in the best and most consistent condition.
Brighter is better: bill fluorescence increases social attraction in a colonial seabird and reveals a potential link with foraging.
The bill pigment is unique in the Genus Aethia, and its spectra did not match any known molecule, and it occurred in two phenotypes that may differ geographically, perhaps due to environmental heterogeneity.
Using mass spectrometry to investigate fluorescent compounds in squirrel fur
Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry of flying squirrel fur known to fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light is used to identify potentially fluorescent compounds in squirrel fur to develop an understanding of fluorescent compounds, or fluorophores, that are present in fluorescent tissue.


Ultraviolet Vision in Birds
Visual pigments and colour vision in a nocturnal bird, Strix aluco (tawny owl)
The molecular basis for UV vision in birds: spectral characteristics, cDNA sequence and retinal localization of the UV-sensitive visual pigment of the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus).
This is the first UV opsin from an avian species to be sequenced and expressed in a heterologous system and yielded an absorption spectrum typical of a UV photopigment, with lambdamax 365+/-3 nm.
Ultraviolet vision, fluorescence and mate choice in a parrot, the budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
This study provides convincing evidence that UV reflectances can play a role in mate choice in non–passerines, but no evidence that the yellow fluorescence observed under UVA illumination is itself important as a signal.
Is the ultraviolet waveband a special communication channel in avian mate choice?
It is suggested to consider the role of the UV waveband in avian mate choice in conjunction with the rest of the avian visible spectrum because female zebra finches show the greatest response to the removal of longer wavelengths.
Ultraviolet signals in birds are special
The results suggest that signals based on UV contrast are of special importance in the context of active sexual displays, and six hypotheses on why this may be the case are reviewed.
Ultraviolet vision in birds: What is its function?
Attraction of kestrels to vole scent marks visible in ultraviolet light
It is suggested that kestrels flying over an area can see and use vole scent marks to assess vole numbers, a novel explanation for how raptors detect patches of high vole densities without prior knowledge of local food resources.
Ultraviolet sexual dimorphism and assortative mating in blue tits
It is concluded that blue tits are markedly sex dimorphic in their own visual world, and that UV/violet coloration probably plays a role in blue tit mate acquisition.