Crow Family Recognition

It is true we can’t figure out individual crows easily.  Quite a few years ago I published this post about how I couldn’t tell them apart when I took this NPR test.  Check out the post and the test at this link.

Do you really know that Crow?

Then this week I heard on Bird Note, a regular feature on NPR, about how birds can see ultra violet light. This gives them the ability to see things we as humans cannot. The article went on to talk about crows. Of course this crow stalker’s ears perked up.

What they basically said was they can tell each other apart because that ultra violet color spectrum gives them visibility into their plumage we miss.  I like to think that they are not just black feathered. Crows also have violet colored areas.  Yes you heard that!  Crows are partly royal purple!

Next time you see a crow look for that sheen we just perceive as a reflection of the sun. See how it has a glossy iridescence. That is a glimpse into how crows see and recognize their family members. They are even more wondrous than we thought.

To leave you with a little serendipity of life. Today as I read the local paper I discovered something that relates to this light spectrum.  Pantone Color Institute has announced its color of 2018……..Ultra Violet – 18-3838.   Here is a link to their site so you can see exactly what the color looks like.  Ultra Violet – Color of 2018    I leave you with why crows are violet and not just black!  Mystery solved or are they just Black?

Pantone’s description of the color Ultra Violet – Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own. 


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