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A Red Bird in a Brown BagThe Function and Evolution of Colorful Plumage in the House Finch$
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Geoffrey E. Hill

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.001.0001

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Darwin Vindicated

Darwin Vindicated

Female Choice and Sexual Selection in the House Finch

Chapter:
(p.129) Chapter 6 Darwin Vindicated
Source:
A Red Bird in a Brown Bag
Author(s):

Geoffrey E. Hill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148480.003.0006

Female mating preferences for highly ornamented males are central to Darwin's theory of sexual selection. Mate-choice experiments with House Finches, both the laboratory and in the field, showed conclusively that female House Finches preferred to mate with males with redder and brighter feathers. By having redder than average feathers, males are able to pair with older, more experienced females who nest earlier and produce more offspring.

Keywords:   sexual selection, mate choice, Darwin, control, nest initiation date, reproductive success

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