Monday, August 05, 2013
Their Mamas Know They're Handsome
For those of you who don't live in North America and/or aren't familiar with the species I'll give a little background. Red-winged blackbirds are a very common marsh habitat species that shows a lot of sexual dimorphism in coloration. This adult male in the picture above shows their typical glossy black feathers with characteristic orange and yellow coverts.
The first set of feathers that babies of both sexes get looks pretty much like the adult female, again giving them a camouflage advantage when they are just starting out. Over time, during their first year, the males have their brown feathers replaced by the black, orange, and yellow ones. The in-between situation can look sort of interesting.