Study of 6,000 species of song birds sheds light on the role of colourful feathers in survival

Why male song birds have colourful plumage is turning out to be a more complicated story than first thought. Cody Dey, a PhD candidate in Biology at McMaster at the time of the research, was part of a team that looked at nearly 6,000 species for the study published in the international journal Nature. Using advances in computing power and new methods to compare colouration in different species, the research group studied every species of passerine, the perching songbirds that make up about 60 per cent of the world’s 10,000 species of birds.

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McMaster University | Faculty of Science