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Question:
What is the significance of the plumage patterns of the sexually dimorphic belted Kingfisher ­ Ceryle alcyon?



Replies:
I'm not familiar with this species. However, if you find the book "The Lives of Birds" by Attenborough, he explains dimorphism of many bird species very well.

ssample


I have been intrigued by the question but unable to find the answer. Sexual dimorphism in birds is usually related to display and nesting, in the majority of species with dimorphic plumage the male is more brightly colored and the female is more camoflauged and does most of the incubation. In accounts I have found of more colorful females, most examples are females that are polyandrous, that is, that mate with more than one male, and/or where males do more of the incubation of eggs. However, neither appears to be the case with the belted kingfisher. So it remains a puzzle to me.

J. Elliott



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