A fundamental issue in biology is explaining the diversity of coloration found in nature. Birds provide some of the best-studied examples of the evolution and causes of color variation and some of the most arresting color displays in the natural world. They possess perhaps the most richly endowed visual system of any vertebrate, including UV-A sensitivity and tetrachromatic color vision over the 300–700-nm waveband. Birds provide model systems for the multidisciplinary study of animal coloration and color vision. Recent advances in understanding avian coloration and color vision are due to recognition that birds see colors in a different way than humans do and to the ready availability of small spectrometers. We summarize the state of the current field, recent trends, and likely future directions.