Feathers for sexual display

posted in: Feathers-maintenance, Sunbirds | 0

Feathers have three main functions – insulation, display and flight. Each feather has a central rachis with rows of barbs on either side. Those intended for insulation and in some for sexual display, have the barbs remaining loose and fluffy. Flight feathers on the other hand have barbs that are hooked together to form a continuous vane.

The images by Johnny Wee of the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) (above left) and the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) (above right) are excellent examples of male feathers for sexual display.

Follow YC Wee:

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.