Geoff R. MacFarlane, Simon P. Blomberg, Gisela Kaplan, Lesley J. We report the findings of a phylogenetic comparative analysis examining patterns and frequency of occurrence of same-sex courtship and mounting behavior in birds. Our analysis has shown associations between same-sex sexual behavior and both mating system and degree of precociousness at hatching.
These adorable birds are sexual nomads—and that helps protect their species
Animal Sex: How Birds Do It | Bird Sex | Live Science
Females are coy and males are ardent. In reality, monogamy is relatively rare in nature, for either sex. Towards the end of the 20th century, scientists began to take a renewed interest in sexual selection. The advent of genetic tests for paternity revealed that female animals were actually having plenty of sex, and with lots of males. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that many bird species that look monogamous at first glance — they build nests together and cooperate in raising offspring — were actually mating all over the place , such that broods often contained many half-siblings. In the wild, then, it seems that promiscuity is rife — and this has important consequences for evolution. The traditional thinking is that promiscuity intensifies sexual selection, an evolutionary process whereby individuals develop traits that help them gain more mates and offspring.
Animal Sex: How Birds Do It
Pectoral sandpipers are polygynous—they mate with more than one partner—and males compete for sexual attention from the females. In most species, this fosters intense competition: only the most dominant males can actually mate, while the rest are left out in the not-so-dark Artic summer night. But pectoral sandpipers seem to have found an alternative to being sexually snubbed: they fly away before females even have the chance to turn them down. Some birds went to 24 different sites during a single summer breeding season, traveling an average of 3, kilometers. The study covered two short summer breeding seasons in Barrow, Alaska and found that at least 50 of the 60 birds left home each year.
Sure, birds can fly, but how do they have sex? Can they do it in the air? And where do they keep their reproductive organs?