Why Red?

Geoffrey E. Hill

in A Red Bird in a Brown Bag

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195148480
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893683 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ornithology Series

Why Red?

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There are a number primary models for why males in bird species like the House Finch evolved bright feather coloration: the Fisherian model of sexual selection, the honest advertisement model, the species recognition model, and the sensory bias model. Mate choice experiments showed that female House Finches from all populations showed a preference for males with large patches of bright red feathers. Males in the populations with small patches of red also show delayed maturation of plumage. These observations are most consistent with the honest advertisement hypothesis.

Keywords: sexual selection models; Fisherian model; honest advertisement model; species recognition model; sensory bias model; delayed plumage maturation

Chapter.  13211 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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