Peacock courtship

To: "'Alan Gillanders'" <>, <>
Subject: Peacock courtship
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 10:09:04 +1100
Alan Gillanders said:

"I was under the impression that oestrogen is quite commonly the controlling
hormone in the production of breeding plumage in birds where the eclipse
plumage and female plumage are the same or similar. Would some one clear
that up for me?"

Bentley (1982) states:

"The colourful dimorphic differences in the plumage of birds are well known
and generally (though not always) appear to be under the control of
oestrogens in the female; thus the bright coloration of the male in the
domestic fowl, quail and pheasants is not dependent on androgenic hormones,
but the duller, more conservative plumage of the female is under oestrogenic


Bentley, P.J. (1982). Comparative Vertebrate Endocrinology. 2nd ed.
(Cambridge University Press, Cambridge).

Stephen Ambrose
Ryde, NSW


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