Eps 1581: Is my bird gay?

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Camila Arnold

Camila Arnold

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A homosexual bird is not identified by its plumage or bill; it simply shows up based on what gender it chooses to hang out with more, though its bodily features are one factor in being able to tell males and females apart. There is no proven way of finding out or knowing if a particular bird is homosexual, except to watch their relationships, be they sexual, parental, or mating with other sexual birds. Like humans, we cannot fully know why birds are gay, because sex is a complicated phenomenon in nature, and it is impossible to tell if birds who are homosexual are chosen or because of some circumstance.
No, gender does not make any difference to homosexual birds when choosing their partners; under a variety of circumstances and observations, birds are observed having same-sex mating relationships. Same-sex behaviour has been observed in a great many bird species--some 130, perhaps--and it is likely that it goes unnoticed even more frequently, given the fact that a great many birds are not sexually dimorphic . While very few animals are exclusively gay or lesbian, it seems an unusual number are engaged in some form of same-sex activity.
Let us look more closely at same-sex activity among wild birds, and see if we can shed any light on what drives such behaviour. The fact that many bird species are not sexually dimorphic, meaning both genders appear to look the same, has also been a factor in not being able to properly study homosexuality in wild birds. In 2007, a group led by Geoff McFarlane, a biologist from Newcastle University, Australia, reported that homosexual behaviour by males is most common in species with polygynous birds, in which males pair up with multiple females, while female homosexual behaviour is most common in monogamous species.
In bird species, where males are sleeping around while females are raising children, males are more likely to engage in same-sex behaviour. Chicks were seen as 25% more likely to be involved in same-sex relationships. By following large proportions of birds, researchers found they engaged in many of the same behaviors that were seen with male-female pairs. Species where the females dominate parental care were found to exhibit virtually no male-female coupling, and the same pattern was found to hold for male birds.
The forms of copulation were inconsistent between species, with some birds showing only male-to-female same-sex relationships, while others showed only females. Male-to-male bird couples and female-to-female birds display the most pure intentions in the heart for the better half, much as do heterosexual couples. In Bonobos, sexual touch, such as genital scraping, is used to welcome friends, diffuse conflicts, and strengthen relationships, and it appears that bonobos do not discriminate on the basis of gender, with both female-female and male-male pair bonding being common. The Bonobo monkey, for instance, benefits from oxytocin, the bonding hormone, released in gay sex, which reinforces the social alliances among women.
Females even compete with males for the same-sex partners, and will select the female partner even when presented with an immediate choice of the male alternative. Other theories suggest that same-sex behavior may be a part of sexual competition: By mating with another man, one man may have an adverse effect on that mans reproductive success. After all, it seems like in evolutionary terms, mating on a single gender seems to decrease the chances that the birds will be reproductively successful. We know homosexual behaviour between birds cannot result in breeding, but gay birds couples may rear one young bird .
Research shows that birds may engage in homosexual behaviors during courtship, sexual intercourse, pair bonding, attachment, and even parental care. From mating play, copulation, sexual displays, to sexual stimulation, birds may exhibit all forms of homosexual behaviour. Birds can engage in homosexual behaviors in order to practice mating displays, to decrease social tension, or to consolidate dominance. Parrots are not the only birds proven to exhibit same-sex attraction, and, in fact, over 130 species of birds are known to engage in behaviors that can be classified as homosexual.
Birds from a number of species have been listed as being homosexual, transgender, and homosexual. Since the beginning of studies of birds sexuality, and the documentation of their behaviour toward a partner, some species of birds have been listed as homosexual, homosexual, or other gender identities. Yet over 130 species of birds engage in homosexual activities -- sometimes lots of them.
Just as we humans who can identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer , birds can also identify as gay, except for those who are not openly out, or who hold annual pride flights. Based on the studies conducted and observations made on both wild birds and captive birds, it is possible your pet bird or birds are actually homosexual. No, homosexual behaviour is not simply a case of mistaken identity when it occurs in birds, although sometimes they sure do seem pretty darn alike.
Because parrots are birds, and thus wildly different than we are, they do express gay attraction in different ways from humans, but it is possible for them to actually be gay. If your Parrot is homosexual, you might see it performing some of these rites, or at least doing something like this, in order to draw in a mate who is the same gender. If you are interested in having a homosexual parrot, or having same-sex mates, you might try to reach out to a local bird breeding facility or a rescue organization and see if they have any birds who paired off with a same-sex partner, even if presented with an option for the opposite sex.
Included with same-sex behaviors, besides genital contact, are other behaviors that, in different-sex settings, can promote reproductive success, such as courtship, attachment, pairing bonding, and breeding. I should make clear that I am talking about Same-Sex Behaviors, and not necessarily Same-Sex Sex, since, for approximately 93% of bird species, sexual intercourse involves two birds touching their cloacas, with the passage of sperm through the air between the two.