Monday, October 11, 2010

Street Lights And Slutty Bluetits

Among birds called blue tits in a forest on the outskirts of Vienna, a yearling male often fathers at least one illicit chick if he nests within 50 meters of a lamppost, says Bart Kempenaers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Germany.

In dark nests in the woods, though, roving females generally overlook youngsters in favor of older males, Kempenaers and his colleagues report in the Oct. 12 Current Biology.

The young males’ strange success may come from a quirk linked to light pollution, the researchers suggest. Males near night lighting start singing on average about three minutes earlier during the dawn chorus of bird song than naturally lit birds do, Kempenaers and his colleagues found.

That’s not a long time, but a female taking a quick break from her usual mate often flits over to visit a neighbor for only a matter of minutes. Kempenaers’ previous work has shown that early serenading has extra appeal for wandering females.

Streetlights turn young duds into studs

Susan Milius, in Science News

You damn punk kid bluetits blaming technology
for your orgasm odyssey dragging music
into it some guy bluetit trying to compose
a Jonathon Livingston Seagull cantata
has to take a break to give you a little peace
and then then when he tries to talk about music
you roll your eyes and say you have to get back home
to the nest to the husband and little bluetits
so then he watches your shadow fly off one way
and you the other way you damn punk kid bluetits.

No comments: