Between 2015 and 2019, the behavior of 436 white-necked hummingbirds was studied in the Central American rainforests of Panama. from Research Approximately 30 percent of females disguise themselves as males.
Researchers suggest two explanations for women’s camouflage. Females change their color to stand out from the males and begin to mate. Or the females change their color to keep the males away from them and thus find food faster.
Male hummingbirds are colorful and distinct with their blue head, dark green back, and white belly. Females are most often gray: a mixture of gray, green and white.
Video footage shows females changing their color to avoid social harassment from males. Male hummingbirds showed a sexual preference for female gray hummingbirds.
According to Stefan Meg, a bird expert at Naturalis, this is a very smart female hummingbird. “Male hummingbirds are mainly engaged in mating, so female hummingbirds only care for their young. If you have to take care of your offspring, you won’t have time to be bothered.”
With bright colors, this is much easier for females. Evolutionary ecologist Jay Falk said: “Birds’ bright colors are associated with aggression.” D National Geographic. “If you look like a man, you no longer suffer from bullies.”
It also plays a role in how well the young ones are raised. “You need a lot of food for that. If you’re left alone, you can click all day,” Mije says.
not all women
So why don’t all female hummingbirds change color? According to evolutionary ecologist Dustin Rubinstein, this is because of the risks involved. “When you shine brightly, you stand out,” he told National Geopgraphic. “A much higher chance of being eaten by predators.”
In addition, creating the colors also costs a lot of energy, according to Mije. “You have to wear very luxurious feathers. The more color the feathers are, the more energy it takes to make them.”
Meiji believes that in areas with a lot of food, women are less likely to change color. “If females can find food easily, they will have less effort to raise their young.”
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