Mystery of ‘red’ woodpeckers is solved! Yellow-feathered birds get rosy tints from the BERRIES they eat
It’s a mystery that’s been perplexing bird experts – why some ‘yellow shafted’ Northern flickers have been spotted with abnormal red feathers.
As their name suggests, the medium-sized woodpeckers living in eastern North America usually have yellow feathers in their tails and wings, and ornithologists were keen to understand the appearance of the red colouring.
Surprisingly, they found the birds’ irregular rosy hue was due to a pigment the birds are ingesting when they feast on the berries of exotic honeysuckle plants.
RED FEATHERS CAUSED BY BERRY PIGMENTS Researchers in the US found red... read more
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