News From the Field
Study: The Bright Red of Cardinals Means Less in Urban Areas
August 31, 2010
Normally, the brilliant red of a male cardinal signals to females that he is a high-quality mate. But that may not be true of cardinals living in urban areas, a new study suggests. Researchers found that the bright red feather coloration of male northern cardinals was less related to body condition for birds living in urban forests than it is for those in rural forests. In other words, even cardinals in relatively poor condition may appear bright red in urban areas.
Ohio State University
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