The males with the brightest feathers get mated with. That’s how it goes in a large part of the bird world.
So how do these birds get the brightest female pleasing outfits? Genetics. According to a team of scientists led by Miguel Carneiro of Universidade do Porto in Portugal, the bright red color of birds’ feathers, beaks and legs may reflect how fit the animal is for reproduction. And how is that? Well, according to Carneiro’s Team’s research it turns out that the redder the bird, the more it possesses the ability to clear poisons from its body. The team researched zebra finches and found that the males that have a distinctive red beak were preferred by the females. Some birds, including the zebra finch, obtain yellow pigments called carotenoids from what they eat.
“Our findings fill this gap and open up many future avenues for research on the evolution and ecology of red coloration in birds,” stated by Dr Nick Mundy, from the Department of Zoology at Cambridge University.
More information here: Sciencedaily