Why Are Tropical Birds So Colorful?

Sun Conure

Tropical birds are so popular as pets because of their beautiful colorful plumage. Why do they have such colorful feathers? There are actually a few reasons.

Colors help male birds attract females

As they are unable to buy chocolate or jewelry, male birds attract the females with colors. Which in many ways turns the question around: why are birds from outside the tropics usually less colorful? Outside of the tropics, bright colors would often make a bird too vulnerable to predators.

Colorful feathers are good camouflage in the tropics

Birds which fly in the trees in tropical areas are actually well-hidden because of their bright colors. Green feathers blend into the trees which are green all year-round in tropical climates. As the birds dart through the flashes of light in the forest, their colors actually make them harder to see.

We only notice the colorful tropical birds

There are actually more dull-colored birds in tropical areas than there are colorful ones. Birds which inhabit the forest floor are generally brown and gray. However in addition to attracting mates and predators, color attracts human photographers and captures our imagination. The reason it seems that there are so many more bright birds in the tropics is because they are the most photographed, and they’re the ones we most remember.

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