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Are ducks attracted to color? Any color more than another? Just curious.

Mark
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Mark

At what scale? And what do you mean attracted?

My somewhat informed guess is that at long distance ducks just recognize dark and light patterns. Up close ducks definitely observe color which is why males are so brightly colored. But I doubt a mallard can see the ?right shade? of iridescent green at 1/2 mile.

There are lots of stories of people successfully decoying ducks to within gun range with bleach bottles painted black.
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Interesting concept. I'd think ducks would be attracted to colors that represent basic needs such as breeding, food and safety. In addition to colors it'd likely also be movement or lack of same.


Pete


MOLON LABE [mo 'lon la 've]

Technology has it's place, hunting isn't it.

Life's a blink, never have to say ....... "I should have"!

"That human optimism & goodness that we put our faith in, is in no more danger than the stars in the jaws of the clouds." .................Victor Hugo
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Well, they were never turned off by our bright yellow kayak or our pink flamingo decoys...
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Are the flamingo's in season or confidence decoys?
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Sorry for the cryptic question. While cruising around the Internet today, I came across some unique remote controlled underwater lights. I was looking for something that would illuminate, underwater, the area around our boat or dock. I know that lights are used to attract baitfish to attract bigger fish and started wondering f ducks, or other animals would be attracted to certain lights as well.

And no, not looking to make another electronic duck attraction machine, was just wondering.

Mark
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Mark W wrote:
Are ducks attracted to color? Any color more than another? Just curious.

Mark


What color feed pellets are you using? w00t

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Capt Rich Geminski wrote:
Are the flamingo's in season or confidence decoys?


naaaaaaahhhhhhh they were more to prove that ducks likely wouldn't be bothered by them. There was a huge disagreement on another forum that we got into about decoys and how if the setup wasn't "just right" and having the right birds in the spread the ducks would never ever, ever come in. Steve called BS on the person who was dissing a newbie for not setting up "right" and said that we could put flamingo decoys out in our spread, duck decoys placed haphazardly and the ducks wouldn't care.....they didn't....I think we hunted with the flamingos for most of a whole season and collected red heads, bluebills, teal of both varieties, pintail, gadwall, mottled ducks, ruddy ducks, ringnecks and black bellied and fulvous whistling ducks that year.

But the flamingos were fun so we would bring em out from time to time after that season....
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Yep, what Brad said.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Guys tend to over think this stuff, they feel every passing bird should decoy to their irresistible spread, and when they don't, it must be the spread, or paint job, whatever.
I've often made the comment that I can decoy hard hunted, public ground Black ducks with old Flambeau plastic decoys while wearing a pink tutu just laying on the meadow. It ain't brain surgery.

No, I no longer have the tutu.....Wink
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So Mark, you were wondering if a halo of secret light would attract them and then what wavelength might be most attractive?

I?d go with hot pink neon for flamingos especially if it looked like dancing fairy shrimp. For shovelers I?d go with laser lights on the disco ball. Beyond that I?ll have to research the avian literature. But if you get an NSF grant to study it, I?m there as as co-PI. Maybe Dr. Tod can join us as long as there are no spinning wings.
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Several years ago I remember catching an episode of Nature on PBS...the episode dealt with the senses of animals... I remember it stated that waterfowl's eyes have the potential to have the some of the best color vision in the animal kingdom. Conversely, they have poor vision in the dark. This is probably not any news to most of us, but the big question is that for all the science it's hard to nail down what their brain interprets from the eyes. At least that's what I remember, and my memory is certainly not to be trusted these days.
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Great story Dani, hadn't heard that one before. That sounds like something Steve would do. 👍


Pete


MOLON LABE [mo 'lon la 've]

Technology has it's place, hunting isn't it.

Life's a blink, never have to say ....... "I should have"!

"That human optimism & goodness that we put our faith in, is in no more danger than the stars in the jaws of the clouds." .................Victor Hugo
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Brad Bortner wrote:
So Mark, you were wondering if a halo of secret light would attract them and then what wavelength might be most attractive?

I?d go with hot pink neon for flamingos especially if it looked like dancing fairy shrimp. For shovelers I?d go with laser lights on the disco ball. Beyond that I?ll have to research the avian literature. But if you get an NSF grant to study it, I?m there as as co-PI. Maybe Dr. Tod can join us as long as there are no spinning wings.


I think you missed my intent. It was a question solely based upon curiosity. I know there are lights for fisherman to use that claim it attracts baitfish that the attracts bigger fish. Was just wondering if light would attract ducks.

And if one thinks about it a little more, an underwater light would never work for duck hunting unless you are hunting too early or too late ( or dark enough during legal hunting hours to make a difference). The question was asked wholly out of curiosity and nothing more.
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L. Bush, trust your memory, you are correct. Referring to and paraphrasing an Outdoor Life article from Oct. 2013, "The Science Behind Waterfowl Eyesight" - ducks do have poor night vision, yet they have 2-3 times greater daytime distance vision compared to humans Their eye muscles control both their cornea and lenses, resulting in probably both central-tunnel, and peripheral vision. Research shows ducks have highly developed daylight color receptor cones in their retinas, where they can see reds,greens,yellows and blues very vibrantly, plus an extra set of retinal cones which allows them to be receptive to ultraviolent radiation (sunlight) and unique retinal blood structures providing them with an increased sensitivity reaction to unnatural motion,(i.e. why ducks flare with motion while hunting) They can see a lot further than they can hear.

Common sense: No other reason for the colorful plumage, iridescence, mating behaviors and tribalism we see with waterfowl. For the most part, they like to decoy/mate with their own kind. Their instincts draw them to what they can see.

Ken Zaborski

Last edited by:

Ken Z: Jul 30, 2020, 4:08 AM