Tag Archives: feather color


This gallery contains 4 photos.

Social Signaling A book I received for Christmas got me interested in melanins in bird feathers. Melanins are pigments found in most organisms. Their chemistry is complex and their functions in many organisms are not understood. In birds they are … Continue reading

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Feather Color

Bufflehead males (Bucephala albeola) have iridescent¬† purple-green heads that often, depending on the light, appear black. In April, I photographed a bufflehead at Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park CA.¬† In every picture but one, the bufflehead has a … Continue reading

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Blue-headed Mallard

This gallery contains 3 photos.

As one of the most common ducks in North America, most everyone is familiar with the iridescent green head of the male mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Feather color, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is determined by pigments, the structure … Continue reading

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Feather Color

Over the Holidays my son gave us the book “Feathers” by Thor Hanson. Very interesting book! I was reminded that the feather color of birds derives from two different strategies: the nanostructure of the feather or colored pigments in the … Continue reading

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