Sitting pretty

We often consider male songbirds more beautiful and striking than females, since their feathers are usually showier and more colorful.


Female Palm Warbler

Yet Smithsonian published an article last year about some fascinating research, which now reveals that Drab Female Birds Were Once As Flashy As Their Male Mates. [A great, short read!]

The authors describe new studies that show, despite male evolution being ruled by sexual selection:  ” . . . female evolution, the researchers think, is more strongly controlled by natural selection, including predation, survivorship and the ability to rear successful young.” 


Female Red-winged Blackbird

When I came across the two lovely ladybirds above this week, I was reminded how beautiful the females still are, even in their “drabber” colors!

9 thoughts on “Sitting pretty

  1. Interesting that research shows that the female (and also the immature which usually resemble the female) have their covering for protective camouflaging reasons. I had always thought this in my personal observations. It just makes scientific sense. Thanks for sharing BJ

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