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A Red Bird in a Brown Bag – The Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch - Oxford Scholarship Online
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A Red Bird in a Brown Bag: The Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch

Geoffrey E. Hill


The House Finch is among the most mundane birds, so ubiquitous and familiar across the U.S. and Canada that it does not rate a glance from most bird enthusiasts. But males have carotenoid-based plumage coloration that varies markedly among individuals, making the House Finch a model species for studies of the function and evolution of colorful plumage. In more depth and detail than has been attempted for any species of bird, this book takes a tour of the hows and whys of ornamental plumage coloration. The book begins by reviewing the history of the study of colorful plumage, which began in ear ... More

Keywords: House Finch, sexual selection, mate choice, carotenoids, plumage color, parasites, indicator trait

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780195148480
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Geoffrey E. Hill, author
Auburn University