Analysis by Ian O'Neill
Mon Jun 25, 2012

Looks Matter (in the Bird World): During a study of reproduction habits of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) researchers found that a few aesthetic traits exhibited by male and female birds act as signals for the opposite sex to learn who has the best genes, who can chose the best nesting site, who can command the best territory and, ultimately, who will be best parent. The visual cue for male blue tits is the quality of the female's ornamentation -- the ultraviolet coloration of her crown. According to the BioMed Central press release, ornamentation also plays a role in competition between males and between females, as well as signaling potential reproductive success. via

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Steph, Beautiful bird and interesting article. Joan

True - that is true. Humans do this to some extent. We talked about this in biology class and selective breeding, etc.

This is interesting.  I always thought the female chose the male.

The female does chose the male - maybe it is a bit different In this species of bird.

I did not begin birding until I was 45 years old.  Just think of what I missed.  The first amazing thing that occurred (the first of many to come) was when I purchased my first pair of binoculars (not even a good pair) and began to see the amazing plumage and color patterns of an otherwise dull, Grey/brown looking bird.  It was like a whole new world opened up for me.  Now I feel sorry for people who never get to see this and are even totally unaware of this amazing world right around us.


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