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David Sibley: How reflected light gives birds their most vivid plumage

The brilliant yellow, orange, and red that you seen on many birds are not just for decoration; the colors send an important message about the … Read More “David Sibley: How reflected light gives birds their most vivid plumage”

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A House Wren’s gray and brown feather absorbs light and looks drab and inconspicuous. An American Goldfinch’s feather, by contrast, is designed to reflect light and be as bright as possible. Art by David Allen Sibley.