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A Red Bird in a Brown BagThe Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch$
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Geoffrey E. Hill

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2021

Studs, Duds, and Studly Duds

Studs, Duds, and Studly Duds

Plumage Coloration, Hormones, and Dominance

(p.169) Chapter 8 Studs, Duds, and Studly Duds
A Red Bird in a Brown Bag

Geoffrey E. Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between male plumage color and social status. Experiments show that red feather coloration does not function as a signal of status in either the breeding or non-breeding season. Drabber males are actually socially dominant to brighter red males. Testosterone implants increase male dominance but reduce male feather coloration, perhaps explaining why drabber males are socially dominant.

Keywords:   dominance, social status, status signal, testosterone, molting, signal of status

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