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Bright colours not a factor in predator attack, study shows

Birds with colourful feathers do not appear to be at higher risk of attack from predators than those with dull, inconspicuous plumage, a study of Australia’s blue superb fairy wrens has found.

New Zealand and Australian researchers used more than 2,500 painted models of the wrens, made from 3D printed plastic, to monitor attack rates on the birds. The results are published online in the journal American Naturalist.

The models, which had moving tail feathers and markings that used ultraviolet reflective paint, were tested in eight different types of wren habitat. These ranged from open habitat such as grasslands to more dense bushland areas.

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