|Message:||Anna and Boo wrote:
> But see, in this case you can't say diet alone is responsible.
> Jabberwock was raised in your home (not much sun) then flew wild
> (lots of sun) then got caught and went back home (not much sun).
> Since both sun exposure and diet had changed, you really can't say
> for certain which factor caused the change in the eye ring color...
True. However, I think I can rule out mal-nourishment from Jabberwock's example. Contrary to our expectations, a vet examination showed that he wasn't badly or under nourished in the wild. So far as we can determine, he was in the wild from late spring to late summer, when food would be relatively plentiful. Moreover, from the noises he made, he seems to have sheltered with pigeons, so he would probably know what to eat.
Of course, it is still possible that some essential vitamins were absent from his diet in the wild.
> I am very curious about this, so forgive me, it's the scientist in me
Not at all. I'm curious myself about the answers.
One more piece of information: Our bird's diet includes spinach and broccoli.
We added these to forestall premature conure bleeding syndrone, which they seem to have done. A quick web search reminds me that spinach contains vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, magnesium, and magnanese, and is high in protein. Broccoli contains vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and beta-carotene.
Since relatively few birds are fed as much spinach and broccoli as ours, and all ours have had white eye-rings within a few months of accepting this diet, I wonder if one of these elements could be involved.
My own guess is that it's not an either-or situation. It's probably not a single element, but all round health that determines eye-ring color, which would likely include both a balanced diet and sunlight.