Re: Tail Feathers

To: Susan Myers <>
Subject: Re: Tail Feathers
From: James Davis <>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 07:26:17 +1000 (EST)
Susan:  I had similar thoughts about iridology, but I think Mauro's point
does not apply to iridology as a bogus medical profession.  The colour of
the eyes can apparently be a very powerful stimulus to other birds.  If
so, a change in hue, configuration or any imperfection may be meaningful.
When I first read Mauro's comment I could envision that there were
circumstances occuring - say during moult - that could negatively impact
of the deposition of pigments in the iris; could a small difference in the
amount of pigment be noitcable. In particular, I was thinking about red
eyes. If the red colour is due to the deposition of a carotenoid pigment -
I have no idea at this point - then I may have a case. Recall
that some birds lose their colour if their diet does not contain
sufficient amounts of cartenoid, e.g. House finches, probably
Crimson Chats and of course flamigos.

Hopefully, someone else can enlighten us further.   

Cheers, Jim 

Dr. Wm. James Davis

Susan wrote

> I don't want to be picky but you say you want serious discussion, then
> bring up the topic of iridology, of all things! Iridology has been totally
> discredited by the medical professions and has no basis in science. I doubt
> whether it could or would be used by birds to choose mates. I'm probably
> going to get into all sorts of trouble now, as I know that believers in
> naturopathy, aromatherapy, moxibustion, etc. have strong views on the
> subject (as I do) but please show me some proof! And show me its relevance
> to bird behaviour - apart from the science of pigeon fancying.
> Susan Myers
> phone: +61 3 9819 2539
> Email:Susan Myers 

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU