The Fascinatin’ Stuff You Stumble Across

Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, getting done

While working on the Chestnut-headed Mannikin painting, I googled for some more photo reference and came across these arresting images. Who knew that Australian finch nestlings can beg for food with such startling effect?

3 thoughts on “The Fascinatin’ Stuff You Stumble Across

  1. Snail says:

    Wonder what those mouths look like under UV light? I remember reading a paper (somewhere, ages ago, or maybe I just made it up) that the gapes of some chicks reflect UV so they’re really obvious to ma and pa. Not sure how much more obvious they need to be, though.

  2. zeladoniac says:

    I was thinking those markings look like faces- something like the ones on certain caterpillars who rear their bodies up, along with the “faces”, to startle predators. Could it be possible that the gape markings function the same way?
    It’s sort of a long shot. What other bird species have this feature?

    The UV light test would be easy to conduct, all you need is a cooperative finch breeder.

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