A comparative analysis of the effects of ultraviolet reflectance on diurnal raptors.

 

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Addy Pann
Committee: Bob Eckstein, Paul Bartels, David Coffey

Many birds, including raptors, are known to see past our known visible color spectrum into the ultraviolet (UV) range. Studies have been conducted looking at how raptors respond to UV reflectance and how it is contributing to their mortalities by collision with UV reflective wind turbines. Since the leading cause of raptor deaths is car collision, this study was designed to see if road paints were UV reflective and possible lures for raptors being roadside. A spectrophotometer was used to test the reflectance of two traffic paints as well as UV and non­UV controls. Then, activity budgets were collected from diurnal raptors at the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, NC to see how they responded to UV and non­UV paints. Spectral analysis affirmed that the traffic paints were not UV reflective, and statistical analysis revealed that the birds showed no significant difference in behavior toward the different paint types, meaning we cannot confirm that the road paints are contributing to raptor injuries by car collision. However, inquiry has been raised to study the difference between male and female raptor responses to UV reflectance in more depth.