Friday, December 08, 2006

That Lesbian Seagull Song Just Got a Whole New Meaning

In a 2006 article in Behavioral Ecology four Australian ornithologists decided to take a look at something that isn’t very widely studied in science, homosexual interactions between birds. Now many people might not know this, or may have heard in passing about homosexual penguin behavior for warmth, but over 130 bird species in the world exhibit some form of homosexual behavior. Not every species in this group necessarily exhibits homosexual behavior in both sexes, some species might only be male-male and other female-female, with(obviously) others being both sexes.

This behavior tends to happen more in males in species that are polygamous and that form leks. Apparently they are so polygamous they tend to mount any bird of their species that will get close enough to them to allow it to happen…. Watch your back, literally. It occurs more frequently in females in species that are monogamous. An example of a situation where this occurs in monogamous bird species is when the ’mother bird’ is left to care for the chicks on her own and the chicks don’t learn what its like to have a father, they essentially rebel against their single mother and deserting father and refuse to spread either of their genes by exhibiting homosexual behavior. Even though most birds that behave homosexually will at one point or another behave heterosexually as well, you can call it their ‘experimental period’ I guess.

Not all of the information the researchers would like to understand about the issue is clear to them at the moment, but it was mentioned that some benefits of this behavior are seen in the form of indirect fitness and social interactions.

If you’d like to know more about the homosexual birds ... Here

Also, because I am one of the last posters to this blog this semester, if not the last, I leave you with some humor and a song. One of Engelbert Humperdinck’s greatest hits…..

Over rocks and trees and sand
Soaring over cliffs
And gently floating down to land
She proudly lifts her voice To sound her mating call
And soon her mate responds by singing
Caw Caw Caw
Come with me
Lesbian Seagull
Settle down and rest with me
Fly with me lesbian seagull
To my little nest by the sea
With me that's where you belong with me
I know I can be strong when you're with me
She skims the water
At the new time to seek
Her fish and she emerges
With one squirming in her beak
She plays among the waves
And hides between the swells
She walks the beach at twilight
Searching for some shells
Come with me
Lesbian Seagull
Settle down and rest with me
Oh fly with me lesbian seagull
To my little nest by the sea
With me that's where you belong with me
I know I can be strong when you're -- you're with me
And in the evening
As they watch the setting sun
She loooks at her as if to say
The day is done
It's time to find their shelter
Hidden in the dunes
And fall asleep the
Music of the moon
You and me
Lesbian seagull
You just watch the world oh my
Just you and me lesbian seagull
Side by side with me 'till we die
('Till we die)
You and I
We can make it if we try
Our love will keep us flyin' high
Until we die...
Posted by: DarkStarSpace (14)
It took me a really long time to format the song that way, please don't delete it. Plus it's hilarious.


At 11:53 PM, Blogger PWH said...

OH man too funny!!! I love the song!! I hope the song doesn't get removed. It's about time someone did something funny. Oh yeah, your paper was something to think about.


At 7:36 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Awesome job! I really enjoyed the song; it just made me laugh so that was a plus. The article though left me wondering if you know how often birds will rebel and become homosexual? Is it at a certain time of the year or during a certain stage of their life? About how often do you see this take place and how do they lose their desire for male birds for that period or do they not? It was a very interesting article, I would have liked to have learned more about the behavior though because I am still left to ponder many questions afterwards.
Charlotte (14)

At 11:32 PM, Blogger PWH said...

To clear up your questions the article goes on to say again that female -female pairs happen more often in monogamous birds. They think this may be due in part to there not being enough males to raise young, so 2 females will raise them. Also social cues and female intearctions early on in development greatly affect how the bird will act later on. And also , i guess depending on the bird, some species will stil form heterosexual pairs.


At 1:03 AM, Blogger PWH said...

Great job man, hilarious song. And actually touches on current events. Ive also heard of other animals that display homosexual behavior and it certainly makes a case for the genetics of sexuality. Interesting and funny, awesome.

(Adam Stackhouse)

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous sentamu6 said...

Homosexual birds, i guess it should be expected. However this brings up the question of nature verses nurture. Is homosexuality in birds an example of DNA at work or is merely a construct of the birds natural settings.


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