[CT Birds] A red bird question...

Arthur Shippee ashippee at snet.net
Tue Apr 23 12:55:25 EDT 2013

But that's part of their diet for a short time, too short, I think, to account fully for the coloring.  

Perhaps a factor -- but some chemistry would help: do the dyes in the Maples survive digestion or break down?  Are they the same chemicals as the color in the feathers?  

So, others?  

On Apr 23, 2013, at 12:43 PM, Carrier Graphics <carriergraphics at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> Several years ago, I wrote an article about the arrival timing of PURPLE FINCH 
> with the flowering of the Red Maple in spring, and how they eat the flowers of 
> this tree as well as the buds. This spring, as usual, here they are in numbers 
> as the Red Maples bloom. So a question came up:
> Can the bright raspberry red color of the Purple Finch have anything to do with 
> the bright red of the Maples flowers of which they eat? 
> I searched that other Finches, besides Purples, also eat the flowers as well. 
> They are: 
> Pine Siskin
> Redpoll
> Pine Grosbeak
> Evening Grosbeak
> House Finch
> Three of these birds above also poses Red in their plumage.Plus 13 other species 
> of birds also eat the buds and flowers of red Maples as well as the seeds. So my 
> question is, do Purple finch as well as other reddish birds, get their reddish 
> plumage from eating these red flowers? I know Flamingos require foods with red 
> in them to get their pink coloring, so could the bright red flowers of the Red 
> Maple contribute to the bright reds of the Purple finch?
> Paul Carrier - Harwinton
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