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Posts Tagged "barbs"

Blue Jay

Posted on Apr 30, 2016

Blue Jay

This Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) was in the shade on a sunny April day, nevertheless showing off blue hues against a blue sky and flying around with its mate. In this case the blues are not as blue as they could be because they are not actually blue. Huh? Their feather barb cells are specially modified scatter light in a way that makes them appear blue instead of what would be brown melanin, and if this bird flew into the sunlight then it would pop even more. Scott Kruitbosch Conservation & Outreach Coordinator

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