[CT Birds] A question on cryptic plumage.
carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 27 10:35:57 EST 2013
A question on cryptic plumage.
While looking out at the feeder birds this morning, I saw a neat and trim male
Downy woodpecker. Then a question came to mind.
Why has evolution given this bird such a contrasting coloration? There is no
better coloration to be noticed than Black against white. A downey is certainly
not the best cryptic colored bird out there to deter predation by hawks, and
certainly not the best in flight to avoid predator attacks, (slow, undulating
flight) so whats up with that?
Hawks it is know have less color vision with the added benefit of better
perception in movement and contrast – so one would think the Downey is a prime
prey species for any hawk. Contrasting B&W plumage, with a not so elusive
flight. So why are their so many Downeys about? Logic would tell us they should
have been eliminated a long time ago... Any thoughts out there?
Paul Carrier - Harwinton
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