110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Nature Scenes: Birds like neutral-colored clothing on hikers
By Lynn Bowen
posted Feb 3, 2014 - 9:49:20am
When I tell friends that I dress to please the birds when I go hiking, many seem surprised. So what colors do birds like and dislike? I can’t find scientifically based evidence on their color preferences, but just from personal experience, I’m certain that birds like colors that mimic the dirt, grass, trees, water or sky. So I never wear a white shirt or hot-pink slacks, for instance, while hiking.
A few exceptions keep life interesting though. A gal told me she once wore a red-flowered blouse hiking and a hummingbird actually sat on her shoulder a moment thinking it was a real flower! Also, ducks and gulls don’t seem to give a hoot (excuse the pun, Mr. and Mrs. Owl) what color you wear.
Speak in a soft voice when talking to a friend while walking. If all is silent and a person sneaks up on a bird, the bird becomes startled and usually flies away. If you talk softly, the feathered friends know you are around and therefore are not alarmed when they see you. Children or adults who are running frighten birds, and the birds think trouble is lurking.
The perky grackle in the photo accompanying this column didn’t fly away as I stood nearby. I could clearly see his beautiful yellow eyes and his glossy black feathers. He even made a “kerrr” sound, which I just know meant “hi.”
Neutral or drab colors make most birds feel comfortable when you are in their presence. What fun it is to see birds up-close!
Sincerely, Your drab-clad hiking friend, Lynn
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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