As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Male tits would rather starve than give up their partner, study suggests

Oxford University found male great tits would rather starve than leave their mate

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
12:01AM GMT 13 Nov 2015

It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but a new study suggests that when it comes to love males will actually forgo food rather than give up their mate.
Oxford University has been monitoring the great tits of Whytham Woods, in Oxfordshire, to test the strength of the bond between mating pairs.

Much like humans, birds tend to be socially monogamous: they find a partner to mate with and remain exclusive with this partner for many seasons.

However researchers thought that they may split up if being together meant that one had to sacrifice eating.

To test the theory they created two special bird boxes full of seed which had electronic doors that could only be opened in the presence of special radio tags attached to the bird’s legs. The male tit could not open the female’s seed box, and vice versa.

But rather than going their separate ways in their hunt for a meal, researchers found that the male stayed with the female, even when it meant starving.



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