Even pigeon wings are astonishingly beautiful under UV light

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/09/01/even-pigeon-wings-are-astonish.html

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Pigeons have beautiful plumage even without UV, their breast feathers are iridescent.

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For those interested, domesticated birds fluoresce, too:

We found that natal down feathers of white-feathered turkeys showed an intense yellowish-green fluorescence under UVA light. UVA fluorescence also was shown by the natal downs of the slightly melanized plumage areas of bronze turkeys. Vaned feathers of white fattening turkeys reflected UVA radiation. Freshly molted feathers were optically distinguishable from the previous feather generation due to their more intense UVA reflection. In bronze turkeys, both the bright end seams of the dark pennaceous feathers and rectrices and the bright banding of primary and secondary remiges reflected UVA radiation. Intense UVA fluorescence was recognizable in day-old chicks of both color variants on the scutellate scales of the legs and toes. In male turkeys of both color variants, UVA-reflecting parts were recognizable with increasing age on the featherless head region. The UVA-fluorescent and UVA-reflective characteristics of the plumage of fattening turkeys were closely related to the plumage color, the feather type, the molting state, and the age of the birds.

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I tried to tell you all in my glowy rocks post!!!

I got parakeet feathers towards the bottom. People can’t comment on it - but you can check it out still:

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I agree. Pigeons are much maligned as ‘rats of the sky’. Just look at how beautiful they are!

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And a paternal uncle who raised pigeons and was way into blacklight posters never knew this.

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“It was there the whole time!!”

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