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Enchanted Learning® Photoblog      Posted May 25, 2012   11:29 pm

Male House Finch
Male House Finch

Male house finches can have red, orange, or yellow coloration. Surprisingly, the variation is not directly due to genetics, but is caused instead by dietary differences.

However, there is an interesting indirect heritability: Female house finches prefer redder males, selecting a mate who has demonstrated his physical fitness and competence via his success at the task of finding foods containing the pigment echinenone. As a result, males with genes causing them to eat foods with that pigment tend to have more reproductive success, and of course they pass their genes on to their offspring.

We get to see the result: birds with a beautiful red color!

Scientific name: Carpodacus mexicanus

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Date taken: May 24, 2012
Place taken: Mercer Island, WA, USA
Mitchell Spector
Copyright ©2012 Enchanted Learning, LLC


Male House Finch

Female House Finch