Do Birds Have a Favorite Color?

4.2 based on 41 ratings

Updated on Nov 21, 2012

Grade Level: 3rd to 5th; Type: Zoology


In this experiment we will be determining whether birds prefer one color of seed over another.

Research Questions:

  • Can birds see color?
  • Does color matter to them?


  • Birdseed
  • Food dye – three different colors
  • Water
  • Three identical bird feeders
  • An outside area where birds live

Experimental Procedure

  1. Mix a very small amount of water with a few drops of each color of food dye.
  2. Color three cups of birdseed with the dye, one cup of seed per color. Take care not to get the seed too damp or it will rot. Allow the dye to dry quickly and thoroughly.
  3. Fill each bird feeder with the same amount of birdseed, one color in each.
  4. Hang the feeders outside in a place birds can easily find them.
  5. Check on them frequently and note the amount of seed gone from each. Do the birds seem to prefer one color of seed over the others?

Terms/Concepts: Do birds see color?

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