How to Help Your Birds Stay Colorful
For many birds, the color and brightness of their feathers play a very important role in their breeding success.
The more color and more brightly colored a bird is, the more likely it is to attract a mate. Bright, vibrant plumage signals that the bird, usually the male, can be a good provider and successfully obtain a sufficient amount of quality food.
Though feathers are more than 90% protein, fats are essential for developing the best feather coloration.
In many bird species, carotenoids (from fats) are used much like the pigment dyes that color clothing. Carotenoids provide red, orange and yellow to violet colors in feathers.
Without fats and proteins, birds, such as House Finches (pictured above), Northern Cardinals, American and Lesser Goldfinches, would appear less bright.
How You Can Help
By providing foods that are loaded with fats and proteins, you will help your colorful birds maintain their vibrance.
- Peanuts are the best single source of protein and fat for your birds and attract woodpeckers, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, jays and more.
- Loaded with protein and fat, Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter® has attracted more than 140 different bird species. It’s easily spread on tree bark or a Bark Butter Feeder.
- Nyjer® (thistle) is a favorite of goldfinches, and it contains fats and proteins that will help these birds maintain their yellow glow.