Plight of the geese: Birds mistake Boise State's blue turf for a lake

Geese keep landing on the Smurf Turf. (Boise State Athletics)

The human eye has three kinds of cone cells: red, green and blue. According to the National Wildlife Federation, birds have four varieties: red, green, blue and one that's specifically sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light, plus a "tiny drop of colored oil that human cells lack" that allows birds to tell the difference between two similar colors better than humans can. 

So why, then, do geese keep landing on Boise State's stadium turf thinking that it's a body of water? What we know about the avian eye should suggest that the hue of blue used by Boise State in its turf dye is different from a body of water.

Maybe it's close enough to make the mistake from a distance, and once the birds land on the state-of-the-art surface, they figure it's worth hanging out for a while. Maybe if they chill out long enough, the birds will get a chance to meet Bryan Harsin or touch their feathers to a Fiesta Bowl trophy. 

Until we can actually communicate with these birds, we'll never know. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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