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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 8, 2012

Female Cowbirds Chose Partners With Less Impressive Displays

Brown-headed Cowbirds which are well-known as brood parasites. (They lay their eggs in the nests of birds of other

species and get the other birds to feed and raise their young)

Science Daily Reported on new research that reveals contrary to the behaviors of most female birds, Brown-headed Cowbird females choose maleswith what might be considered less impressive displays. UC Santa Barbara researchers

Brown-headed Cowbirds - courtship behavior. Ja...

Brown-headed Cowbirds – courtship behavior. Jan Malik, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

used audiovisual recordings of male cowbirds displaying for females.  They  discovered  that   the “less intense the wing spreading, feather puffing, and bowing were during a display, the more sexually interested the female would be.” It was also observed that females prefered older males possibly because they had better quality genes that allowed them to survive  longer. Findings were published May 2 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Read more at Science Daily Less is more, for female cowbirds: Findings contradict sexual selection theory.

To see full journal article go to Plos OneWhen Less Is Best: Female Brown-Headed CowbirdsPrefer Less Intense Male Displays

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