Feed the Birds … and other habits of nature 4


It’s been freezing here the last few days. And I mean REALLY COLD! This morning it was minus 20 Celsius with a windchill of minus 29. For those who think in Fahrenheit we’re talking -4 and -20 Fahrenheit respectively. Or as Guitar Hero said when he came home from work this morning: “It’s like every single atom has stopped movement.”

I put the bird feeder out for the wee beasties so they can at least get food and keep their metabolism working. We’ve had house finches in huge droves, as well as chickadees and the ubiquitous mourning doves who puff themselves up in the lower branches of the lilac. We also have juncos and nuthatches and the winter-dulled goldfinches, a bright red male cardinal and his duller olive mate, raucous blue jays, along with varieties of sparrows – house and field and chipping. Even a woodpecker visits the suet feeder. And I’m afraid to say, the occasional hawk swoops in to feast on nice warm meat. One caught an unwary mourning dove this morning.

My mother feeds the birds – she’s got 5 feeders. She had to laugh this morning when she opened the drapes of her living room windows, startling a flock of wild turkeys who were scratching in her front garden. We were talking about the various birds we have at our feeders (she gets a lot more variety since she’s out in the country) when she lowered her voice and mentioned how if the mourning doves aren’t feeding, they’re ‘doing it.’

“Oh, yes,” she said shyly, “they do it all the time! They’re ceaseless.” Oookay, I’ll have to watch those silly birds more carefully from now on.

And speaking of mating habits, I was reading this news report. A Scientist has been studying the coital habits of Macaques for the last twenty months. He’s determined that:

On average, females had sex 1.5 times per hour.

But this rate jumped to 3.5 times per hour immediately after the female had been groomed by a male — and her partner of choice was likely to be the hunky monkey that did the grooming.

It took him nearly two YEARS to figure out that women like a little attention before they’ll put out? Sheesh, talk about slow! But a hearty ‘way to go’ for that ‘hunky monkey’ who manages to perform his services 3.5 times in an hour!

And then they said:

If there were several females in the area, the cost of buying sex would drop dramatically — a male could “buy” a female for just eight minutes of nit-picking.

But if there were no females around, he would have to groom for up to 16 minutes before sex was offered.

The work supports the theory that biological market forces can explain social behaviour, the British weekly says.

So what do you think? Does a little competition makes us easier to seduce? Yeah, probably. But guys take note – a little foreplay gets you a LOT farther!


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