Dimorphism in Birds
What is the significance of the plumage patterns of the sexually
dimorphic belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon?
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.
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.
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Update: June 2012