I was watching 2 robins in the garden today, and also blue tits etc, and suddenly wondered why (in evolutionary terms) some species of birds have distinctly different plumage between male and female and others are so similar? Any ideas welcomed! Thanks
A very interesting question, Karen, and one to which I have no answer. In some ways sexual dimorphism is easier to understand. Males often need to be more colourful to attract females or defend territories. On the other hand females who are often the main carers of offspring need to be less obvious and have subdued markings to avoid predators.
Even with birds that look superficially similar like Great Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Kingfishers there are subtle differences which enable us to tell them apart but why is another question.
Good topic for discussion. Let's hope someone with more scientific knowledge than me has some ideas
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