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Bird Love: The Family Life of Birds
Birds around the world have an extraordinary range of mating systems. Some species, such as the wattled jacana, rely on males to do all the childcare, while others, such as cuckoos and honeyguides, dump their eggs in the nests of others to raise. For some birds, reciprocal promiscuity pays off: both male and female dunnocks will rear the most chicks by mating with as many partners as possible. For others, long-term monogamy is the only way to ensure their offspring survive. Many male birds employ elaborate tactics to show how sexy they are; they dance, pose, or parade to sell their suitability as a mate. Other birds attract a partner with their building skills: female bowerbirds rate brains above beauty, so males construct elaborate bowers with twig avenues and cleared courtyards to impress them. There is a wide variety of ways birds make sure they find a mate in the first place, and even more ways birds raise and care for their families.

Mar 10, 2021 07:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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