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MWC Eco-brief: House Finch Fashion

House finches are beautiful and rather tame birds that frequent backyard bird feeders. Did you know that the male’s red plumage comes from the diet he eats while molting feathers? Males that eat a variety of foods with an array of pigments turn the brightest red, which is preferred by females. Male house finches whose diet is deficient in adequate pigmentation during molt exhibit yellowish or orangish plumage rather than red.

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