Male fairy-wrens produce and maintain vibrant breeding colours irrespective of individual quality

Alexandra McQueen, Kaspar Delhey, Flavia R. Barzan, Annalise C. Naimo & Anne Peters
Conspicuous colours may signal individual quality if high-quality individuals produce more elaborate colours or have a greater capacity to invest in colour maintenance. We investigate these hypotheses using repeated within-individual observations and experimentally-induced colour production in a wild bird, the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). Male superb fairy-wrens undergo an annual moult from brown, non-breeding plumage to an ultraviolet-blue and black breeding plumage. Colour maintenance is especially relevant for this species because structural, ultraviolet-blue plumage colours...
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