Their diet is primarily ungulate bones, which "lack carotenoids, substances common in seeds and barries that give most other birds their flashy feathers."
"Red is very popular in the bird world," says Margalida, adding, that, in bearded vultures, the color appears to be a status symbol. Females, the dominant sex, are brighter than males. Color intensity also grows with age. A bird often handles conflict by puffing out and displaying its dyed 'do."
"Showing off one's shade of red may advertise quality, Margalida says, "The damp iron-rich soils are rare and require a detailed knowledge of the territory." It's as if the bird's saying: I'm the brightest, baddest, most knowledgeable bearded vulture south of the Pyranees."
It makes sense. I am reminded of how red is a sign of danger in nature. Perhaps, that is true, too.
I am also reminded of Jon Carroll's column today where he spoke of what a name, in certain societies, conveys.
What do you say with your colors, attitudes, name and handshake when you are introduced?