19 Feb 2009

Colour of Baby Bird Mouths

From Our Changing World, 9:20 pm on 19 February 2009



Rose Thorogood at work with her spectrometer on Tiritiri Matangi Island. Image: Alison Ballance

Baby birds display brightly coloured mouths as they beg food from their parents. Rose Thorogood, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, is investigating how mouth colour varies within and between different species of birds in New Zealand. She carries out some of her field work on Tiritiri Matangi Island, and, pictured below, is a saddleback, or tieke, chick, showing off its vivid mouth colour (image: Alison Ballance).1