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A special phenomenon in the world of

birds are the mouthmarkings of

Estrildid finches. Bright sparkling

markings of the small nestlings are the

identification marks of this species.

Each species has a different pattern.

Even in individual mutations may

change the colour of mouthmarkings.

Why are Mouthmarkings of

particular importance?

Estrildid finches breed in dark tree hollows. The mouthmarkings are reflective. When the nestlings beg for food, they will instinctively move their heads and the reflecting markings help the parents to find the right way. Another important reason could be the detecton of brood parasitic nestlings in their own nest. On the pattern of the nestlings the parents identify the own species and usually don’t feed another nestling with another mouthmarking. This could also be a reason for the fact that the parents the own nestlings with special mutation colours don’t feed, because the colour of mouthmarkings can also change. 

THE MOUTHMARKINGS

OF FINCHES

... body colour inheritance of Gouldian Finches  read more>
... chest colour inheritance of Gouldian Finches  read more>
The Genetic of Gouldian Finches       ... head colour inheritance of       Gouldian Finches  read more>
Mouthmarkings ...
... Gouldian Finch
... Society Finch