Orbweaver....do the birds notice?

Bill Dunson offers an interesting question about a spider that occurs throughout the Atlantic States, but is often overlooked:

I have been noticing a small but brightly colored spider, the orchard orbweaver (Leucauge venusta) in my rambles at Wildflower Preserve in Charlotte County, FL.

I have not been able to discover the function of the striking colors of this tiny and relatively unknown spider. If it were larger I am sure it would be well known and often photographed.

Does anyone have ideas about the purpose of such a striking coloration? The bright red colors are reminiscent of the dangerous black widow and I am thus wondering about what will happen when I by mistake walk through the web of this tiny beauty and find one on my face. For a small day-active orbweaver which is so exposed to predation by birds, such bright colors must mean something. Or could it be that it is so small (body 5.5-7.5 mm) that predators disdain to bother with it?

Bill Dunson
Englewood, FL
Galax, VA