On the wings of love: It’s a cheesy song, but a nice concept when the subjects are adorable little zebra finches, who are proving some interesting points in animal bonding. Scientists now say there are gay zebra finches, who “preen and sing to each other” and are every bit as faithful as heterosexual couples. Zebra finches mate for life.
Lead researcher Julie Elie from the University of California Berkeley found that male finches raised in same-sex groups were more likely to pair up with another male and to stick with that partner even when females were introduced. The study is reported in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
The finches’ singing is thought to strengthen bonds between mates and that the study shows that the birds’ mating drive is about something more than just reproduction.
“A pair-bond in socially monogamous species represents a cooperative partnership that may give advantages for survival,” Elie said. “Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority.”
Funny how there are some people who can’t accept what’s obvious to a bird brain: You bond with who you bond with, and pairing up doesn’t have to be about reproduction.