i was wondering why so many pink/red bearded vultures kept popping up on my dash as bearded vultures do not naturally have those orange/red colorations. wiki only mentions that their ‘rusty’ color comes from soil, which didn’t really explain the hot pink to me. so after googling around i found this article.
bearded vultures get these coloration by captive bearded vultures who were provided with damp red soils rubbed their bellies and heads in it, and would afterwards preen themselves. why they dye their feathers like this is up for debate whether its for parasitic protection(like dustbathing) or for ‘cosmetic’ purposes, especially since its females who tend to be more intensely colored. but since adult vultures are more like to do it and the few observations that has taken placed showed that the more colorful subjects got more ass than the lesser colorful ones, i think it’d be safe to say vultures just like to look damn sexy.