Sunday, April 23, 2017

House Finch

I banded this mottled red and yellow House Finch at Carleton College on 14 April 2017. Color in House Finches is complicated. Red, yellow, and/or orange color are due to deposition of combinations of 13 carotenoids. These pigments are formed in the blood plasma, liver, and feather follicles. Red and yellow pigment levels vary widely in individual finches. Pigment levels may depend on age, speed of molt, population of finch, and diet (Badyaev et al. 2012).

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