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Here’s Why Scientists Are Coloring Birds’ Heads With Markers | National Geographic

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How do golden-crowned sparrows judge their competition? Previous studies found the patches of yellow plumage on sparrows are indicators of fighting ability. Birds with a bold-colored crown feathers were more dominant than birds with duller colors. When scientists painted bold coloring onto the birds, the bold paint made the birds look more dominant. But a recent study shows that the paint trick only works on birds that are strangers to each other. When scientists painted birds that were familiar with each other, the one that was originally dominant remained dominant … regardless of boldness of coloring.
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Here’s Why Scientists Are Coloring Birds’ Heads With Markers | National Geographic

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