Sexy Saltmarsh Sparrow: A Tiger of Birds

This just in! Sexy Saltmarsh Sparrow is determined to be the most promiscuous bird on the planet!

The scientists found that at least 95% of females mate with more than one male for a single clutch of eggs. A clutch is defined as a set of eggs laid together in the nest at one time. One in three nests had a different father for every chick, and the average brood of chicks had more than 2.5 fathers.

“The chance that any two chicks in the same nest have the same father is only 23%,” says Professor Christopher Elphick.

“We were not surprised to find some level of promiscuity,” he says. “But we were quite stunned at just how extreme the rate was.”

In case you are (1) concerned about this issue or (2) have trouble sleeping, here’s a link to a video interview with Professor Elphick of the University of Connecticut about the Saltmarsh Sparrow.  Interestingly, these birds are threatened with extinction despite their incredible promiscuity. (Yes, I did watch the whole thing.)

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Peter A. Mello

Father, son. Lifelong mariner, student of leadership, photographer. Professional creative placemaker.

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