Standing out by blending in.


We spotted this female Brewers Blackbird hanging around on rocks that were so similar to her coloring that at first we were not sure if the rocks were moving or it was a bird we saw. With a little rationale thought and commonsense (what little we have) we decided that the rocks were not moving and it must indeed be a bird and it was time to get a closer look. We were only able to get half as close as we wanted to capture a clean photo but we got one nonetheless, albeit a bit on the fuzzy side. It is remarkable how her coloring matched the surrounding on green.

14 thoughts on “Standing out by blending in.

    1. Hi Eliza, this is a question I would like to have an answer to and one I wonder about all the time. How local an adaptation in coloration can be. I often notice around here that there is a huge difference in the feathers of great horned owls based upon the forest to rocks they nest in. For example those that nest in the cliffs of red sandstone are way more red than those nesting in cottonwood trees. For a more transitory bird like this Brewers it just blows my mind that there is adaptation to the green rocks as I am sure they move around much more and are exposed to many colors in their environment. So much to learn.

          1. Indeed fun to think about and I always wonder what the sensory input is and the connections made to result in telling a feather or some skin on a reptile what color is is to be as to match the outside world. Amazing.

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