Female mate choice in Northern Cardinals: Is there a preference for redder males?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

I tested whether female Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) associated with redder males in two laboratory experiments, one using males with unaltered plumage and the other using males with plumage altered by a lightened or reddened treatment. Females exhibited no preference for redder males. Given the long duration over which pair formation can occur in natural populations and the importance of territory quality to reproductive success, a female may choose a mate based on other morphological characteristics or aspects of his territory rather than on only red coloration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalWilson Bulletin
Volume111
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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