Offbeat: Birds fall in love, and they have the moves to prove it - - PressFrom - Australia
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Offbeat Birds fall in love, and they have the moves to prove it

17:51  12 november  2019
17:51  12 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Humans aren’t the only animals that fall in love . In fact, as much as 70 percent of birds may form long-term pair bonds. That is, they stay together year Perhaps 1 million years ago or more, a male grebe needed bright colors and tricky moves . He evolved to have them so he could convince a female that

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a bird that is standing in the grass: A waved albatross pair nuzzles on the Galápagos Islands. The birds are some of many that pair, staying together for many years. Some of the species perform fancy mating dances every year, even when they aren’t looking for a mate. © Tom Stephenson A waved albatross pair nuzzles on the Galápagos Islands. The birds are some of many that pair, staying together for many years. Some of the species perform fancy mating dances every year, even when they aren’t looking for a mate.

Humans aren’t the only animals that fall in love. In fact, as much as 70 percent of birds may form long-term pair bonds.

That is, they stay together year after year. Or in some cases, they split up, then come back together when it’s mating season. And every year, the pair, or just the male, performs a fancy mating dance. Trevor Price, a biologist at the University of Chicago, has long wondered why they do it. 

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You can see some of these dances on YouTube. In the Andes Mountains in South America, water birds called hooded grebes have bright red eyes. They have spiky ruffles around their heads that make them look like Dr. Seuss characters. They perform complicated tangos in lakes.

Scientists weren’t sure for a long time what purpose the mating dances served. 

That’s because some of these birds may have gotten together last season, says Price. They’ve already successfully had babies together. They don’t need to attract each other anymore.

“It’s such an obvious question,” he says. “Why bother with the dance when you could just get on with raising your brood?”

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He thinks he may have found an answer. Perhaps 1 million years ago or more, a male grebe needed bright colors and tricky moves. He evolved to have them so he could convince a female that he was Mr. Right. His colors and dances raised her hormone levels. This caused her to lay extra eggs. It also may have made her work extra hard to take care of their babies, even to the point of exhaustion.

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When you're in love , you begin to think your beloved is unique. The belief is coupled with an inability to feel romantic passion for anyone else. Fisher and her colleagues believe this single-mindedness results from elevated levels of central dopamine — a chemical involved in attention and focus — in your brain.

She fell in love with someone she barely knew beforehand. It may take an hour or more to get through all the questions. Why? 20. What does friendship mean to you? 21. What roles do love and affection play in your life? 22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner.

Over many generations, though, male grebes started to look less dazzling. Their partners figured out how many eggs to lay, so they didn’t have to work too hard. But the flashy mating behavior stayed the same. Explains Price, “If a guy brings home 12 roses every day, and on the 10th day he doesn’t, that might [upset] his wife.” So the birds are stuck forever in their mating rituals.

This is true for zebra finches, waved albatrosses, tropic birds and juncos, too. If you look out your window, you might catch common cardinals feeding and singing to their partners to make them happy. Humans “have a sense of well-being” from our relationships, says Price. “And animals do, too.”

a bird sitting on a rock in the snow: Tropic birds nest on the Galápagos Islands. Biologist Trevor Price suggests that male birds often continue to perform fancy mating dances because they don’t want to upset their female mates. © Tom Stephenson Tropic birds nest on the Galápagos Islands. Biologist Trevor Price suggests that male birds often continue to perform fancy mating dances because they don’t want to upset their female mates.

Bird couples can split up, Price says. “But there are tremendous advantages to not getting divorced. A [familiar] mate can hit all the right buttons.” One study separated canary couples for the winter. When the birds got back together, they bred a whole month earlier than usual.

It’s no secret that birds are endangered everywhere in the world. At least 800 million of them die every year by accidentally hitting windows, Price says. The same number die from attacks by house cats. Price hopes that if people can understand that birds, like humans, feel emotions, they will care more about their survival. “There are a lot of things you see in your backyard that look like love,” he says. You can help that love continue by keeping your kitties inside. 

Waterbird population has fallen as much as 90 per cent in Australia's east, shows 37-year study .
The drastic decline over the past four decades is linked to widespread drought which is causing bodies of water to disappear, devastating waterbird population numbers.When Sydney scientist Richard Kingsford and his team from the University of NSW began their research in the early 1980s, they clocked up to a million waterbirds in aerial surveys.

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