The carotenoid-continuum: carotenoid-based plumage ranges from conspicuous to cryptic and back again

Kaspar Delhey, Mark Roberts, Anne Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Carotenoids are frequently used by birds to colour their plumage with green, yellow, orange or red hues, and carotenoid-based colours are considered honest signals of quality, although they may have other functions, such as crypsis. It is usually assumed that red through yellow colours have a signalling function while green is cryptic. Here we challenge this notion using the yellow and green colouration of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), great tits (Parus major) and greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) as a model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 13
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Ecology
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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