“The Bird Detective” is a book written by Bridget Stutchbury, a biologist in Canada. The book, it is claimed, has been written after extensive research and reveals many startling facts about the habits of birds especially songbirds. Evidence exists already that females of some birds cheat on their partners. This was confirmed by DNA fingerprinting of birds and their chicks to ascertain the fatherhood. There is a reference to this in the chapter “DNA fingerprinting” in the book “The Magic Universe” by Nigel Calder.
This books dispels many myths about the birds behavior. The belief that birds pair up for life and are faithful to each other seems to be a big myth. The fact is that in the olden times, serious research was not done on such issues. Everyone by nature is lazy and wants the life of comfort and pleasure. Since as a species of humans, we understand more about the promiscuous nature of males, we tend to paint other species in good light than ourselves.
Birds also want to lead a life of pleasure and comfort. They switch partners, commit adultery, divorce and can abandon their young ones to die. Females look out for the robust and colorful partners so that they live in safety protected by the strong males and also produce healthy progenies.
Since summers are shorter in cold Canada and to produce more chicks, females leave their nests even before the chicks are fully fledged, so that they can find new partners and lay more eggs. The helpless chicks are left to the male mates who have to rear them by their own efforts.
Similarly males to propagate their lineage mate with neighboring females and can indulge in relations with triple or quadruple females.
Divorce is surprisingly common among birds, and most live with one partner for only a few months or years. Divorce rates range from 99 percent in the greater flamingo to zero in the wandering albatross.
The book has been published by Harper Collins.
So, the old adage “Men will be Men” should be replaced by “Every living being is Every one”. Females are no less than males. Men can find some solace in these revelations.