Monday, January 4, 2016

Consortium of Color

Every bird has a consortium of proteins and pigments in their feathers that work together to produce a pattern of colors.  The birds that we catch during our studies on the Nicoya Peninsula demonstrate the astonishing variety of patterns and colors that makes tropical birds famous for their good looks.  This winter I have been taking macro photos of the plumages of some of the more ornate birds we encounter at our banding stations.  Without delving into the explanations behind the production of these patterns and colors - a topic for a different post - I take this opportunity to share some of the most stunning (at least by human standards) plumages we encounter.
Male Barred Antshrike
Turquoise-browed Motmot
Rump and central tail feathers of a male Black-headed Trogon
Crown feathers of a male Long-billed Starthroat
Gorget of a male Long-billed Starthroat
 Below are photos of each of the birds featured above, in order of appearance.