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I read a study on this years ago. I can't remember their conclusion, but I can't imagine there'd be too much of a difference. Cockatoos and crows both seem to be successful species...
Ok, I was saying the same thing but then again its proven so any little edge will totally add up to that perfect bird. Im going to buy a thermometer and do some testing I’ll weigh two birds to get a close enough weight , 1 mostly white and the other mostly black and take them on a toss and measure them on return.
Sounds like a great research experiment, 3DLOFT
Theoretically, a dark surface absorbs more light & heat from the surrounding than a light surface - so should expect the surface temperature to be higher/warmer in the dark bird.
However, feather is also a very good insulator.
Assuming that the metabolic rate (body heat generation) of both birds are the same, and the physical structure of the feathers are the same (same thickness, same proportion of down feathers, same number of total feathers), then any difference in surface temperature is due to the different heat absorption properties of the different colours.
However, if the metabolic rate of the birds cannot be determined, and the physical feather structures of the birds cannot be accurately factored, then the Heat Retention Capacity of the feathers could be a better indicator for comparison.
[Heat Retention Capacity] = [Body Temperature of the Bird] - [Surface Temperature of the Bird's Feather]
1) Measure each bird's Heat Retention Capacity when they return from their flight.
This gives the Flight Heat Retention Capacity
2) As a control, when both birds are rested and fed, put both birds in a cage out in the sun for about the same duration as their flight time and then remeasure their Heat Retention Capacity.
This will give the Baseline Heat Retention Capacity.
3) Any difference between the Flight Heat Retention Capacity and the Baseline Heat Retention Capacity will give you the Efficacy of the bird's feather.
4) You then compare the Efficacy of Dark Feather versus the Efficacy of Light Feather for statistical significance, or significant difference.
Your experiment results could potentially be top notch material for publication in scientific journals, 3DLOFT
U r most welcome 3DLOFT
In a way, we r in the same boat ..... I hv not started on the Lotus Pigeon yet because I m still reading up about the various genetic traits that control crest, fantail and leg muff in pigeons.
In fact, I have not even got a single pigeon yet !
Once I have figured out how to get to the goal, then I shall start to build the housing facilities, and acquire the necessary breeds of birds.