Analyzing Colours

A few software applications have been developed to assist in the analysis of colours once the data have been collected using a spectrometer, as follows:

RCLR 0.09.28 This is an R script to do a wide variety of analyses of spectrum files. You will need to run this from within R available free at This program is still in development but seems stable and accurate. Produced by Bob Montgomerie. Last updated 3 December 2008.
Download here.

CLR 1.05 This is a JAVA program to manage spectrometer files by compiling them into spreadsheets, and to calculate some tristimulus colour variables. It should run fine on any platform that has Java 1.5 installed; written by Bob Montgomerie. Last updated 1 May 2008 Download here

ColoR v1.7 this is a package of Excel macros, written in Visual Basic, to help organize and analyze bird colour data obtained from Ocean Optics portable spectrometers. Works on any platform in conjunction with MS Excel; written by Bob Montgomerie. Download here NOTE that we now use the CLR program (above) because it is much more efficient and user-friendly

Spectre is a Windows program created by Dr. William L. Koederitz in collaboration with Jessica K. Armenta. For analyzing reflectance spectrometry files collected using Ocean Optics spectrometers and software. See their website for more info and downloads

SPEC is a program written in R for the analysis of data files generated by the OOIBase32 or Spectrawin software applications that are used with reflectance spectrometers. SPEC calculates photon catch based on cone sensitivity data, three different irradiance spectra (daylight, blue sky, and forest shade), and the transmission spectra of some ocular media (Blue Tit, chicken, and human) using built-in libraries, although other libraries can be readily added. SPEC also calculates UV chroma and total brightness, as well as the discriminability of two stimuli based on the receptor-noise-limited color opponent model of Vorobyev et al. (1998). Written by Jarrod Hadfield and available here