Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bobolink

Most birds exhibit countershading. They are dark above and pale below. This pattern flattens their profiles and shades their pale underparts. The color of their surroundings may also reflect on the underparts, further camouflaging the birds. Predators find countershaded birds to be very hard to see. Then why do male Bobolinks show reverse countershading? Most likely this reversal makes Bobolinks highly visible to females in their grassland habitat. The advantages of being extremely visible to potential mates must outweigh the dangers of predators. Additionally, predators may follow males and miss seeing breeding females.

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