Miracles of evolution: Why do female hummingbirds suddenly look like males

The world of hummingbirds may look cute, but it’s packed with aggression. To better protect themselves, some females have now developed an amazing adaptation.

The diverse family of nectar-eating birds is more than 350 species. US researchers have now made an interesting discovery in Central American Panama.

More than 400 light-skinned Jacobin hummingbirds were gathered by the researchers. and found that more than a quarter of the females had developed distinctive plumage similar to that of the males.

The females were very atypical, with iridescent blue heads, brilliant whitetails, and white bellies.

The animal researchers’ experiments suggested that the conspicuously masculine-looking plumage helped the females avoid the aggressive behaviors of their male counterparts during feeding – such as pecking and wing flapping.

Ornithologists were enthusiastic about their find, which they assessed as an evolutionary development of the plumage. Normally, all-female Jacobin hummingbirds have rather drab plumage, with muted shades of green, gray, or black.

It has been widely accepted in the scientific community that many bird species evolved their decorative, showy plumage as a function of competition for mates.

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