This brought to mind something my late father, a lifelong birdwatcher, pointed out to me time and time again in innumerable bird guides, that male birds were generally the more attractive of the species. And it is true, for most birds I do enjoy the appearance of the male because it is generally more colorful or has striking plumage, but there is one exception that comes immediately to mind:
In Zanate Mayor (Quiscalus mexicanus), my personal preference is for the appearance of the female, because the color looks like fog at midnight and the yellow eyes are more striking against this color than they are against the black of the male. The individual feathers of the male are incredible to find because they have iridescent sheen of purple and blue but the overall look I just prefer the female.
In any birds both males and females are beautiful, striking colours are not everything, females in species with sexual dimorphism almost always have more intricate patter that helps them blend in better.
I think marsh harrier females are as good as bald males, and duck females are just easier to photograph, like it too. Don’t choose phalaropes, because it’s cheating.
I’m quite fond of the female cardinals around my yard. They opted for the more subdued elegance of mouse-gray with accents and accessories such as lipstick and dying their hair to match the color of their male companions’ gaudy all-red outfit with black mask. They make quite the dashing pair but I have yet to get lucky to snap a picture of a pair of them together.
While I definitely do not prefers the female plumages over the males, I think female Northern Cardinals and Evening Grosbeaks would get much more praise if they were not overshadowed by their male counterparts.