Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bright Red House Finch on a Cold, Gray Day

April 25-26 may not have brought us a full-fledged winter storm, as it did to areas in central and northern Minnesota, but relentless winds and fine blowing snow made the mid-70s of just a few days ago feel like something we just imagined. On this cold, gray day the brilliant hues of a male house finch at my feeder provided a welcome bright spot. According to the Cornell Ornithology Lab, female house finches prefer to mate with the reddest male they can find. Apparently, plumage redness in the male house finch is a good indicator of his nutritional condition, over-winter survival, and nest attentiveness. Would that there were such straightforward indicators in the human species! (Click on the photo for better detail.)
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