[A male bumblebee hummingbird is perched on a small branch. He sings. As he moves his head around, the iridescent patch of feathers on his throat appears to change colors. At one angle it appears as a bright, shiny purple or red, and at another it looks black.] [Explore Macaulaylibrary.org]End of transcript
The feathers on this hummingbird’s throat are surprising. One minute they’re bright red, the next, black. This is known as iridescence, a common, showy feature of many birds’ plumages, from hummingbirds to starlings to jays to ducks. Iridescence doesn’t exist as a pigment—it is a structural color created by light striking the feathers. In each iridescent feather, keratin, melanin, and air are arranged in such a way that the appearance of the feather changes at different viewing angles.
Recorded by Luke Seitz, Macaulay Library