Friday, June 08, 2007

A little levity

Want to peek into the sex life of birds and consider the parallels to humans? A 2003 book called A Tiger in the Bedroom: Lessons from Mother Nature's Sex Shop provides a window -- and some chuckles during long workdays. Written by Katherine Gould, the book includes a bibliography of sources to reassure readers that Gould didn't make up the info.

For instance, Chapter 4 -- The Dolphin's Naughty Bits or Disturbing behaviors -- includes this tidbit:

Welcome the neighbors
Purple martins are popular birds for backyard birdhouses. It's fun to watch the cute little ocuples building their nests and raising their chicks, especially in those birdhouses with lots of little rooms.

But there's a seedy side to purple martin life. A male will typically arrive at a birdhouse and claim it as hiw own, chasing off other males until he has chosen his mate. Then, his own mate secured, he wlecomes other males into the expansive condo complex. "Come on in," he says. "Tons of space." "Won't your family be happy here," he says. Then when the other males aren't looking, he visits all their wives. So it might behoove you to be wary of generous offers to share a vacation home.

Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service


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