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18 December 2008

About the birds and the bees

By Derek

It will soon be the migratory season for the pesky things with wings that people call – Birds! Those little global trekkers are back for food, shelter and *ahem* for lack of a better word – mates and will be making pitstops in Malaysia. Yvonne was walking with me back to the office after lunch the other day and we spotted the first of the few along the fencing. It was a colourful one to which name I absolutely could not spell and completely forgot which she further educated me to be a male.

Simply put, to differentiate between a male and a female colored bird, its most of the time the colourful one thats king. This is simply fascinating as the theory applies in all male and female cases in the animal kingdom with the exception of humans. Female homo sapiens are simply the defining difference as the only species that would dress to kill. Hows that for fact of the day?

How about plain birds then you ask? When I asked Yvonne, the resident naturalist the same, she used an eagle as an example. The eagle would be the smaller but muscular one and the female the fatter one. Well, that one again seems to be the defying rule (or I might be completely wrong – female readers please do not punish me).

From there, I got to hear one of the fantastic tales from the wild. In the insectdom kingdom, there are 2 categories of insects; the quiet ones and the noisy ones. It seems that the noisy ones happen to be the dumb ones and that expand all their energy attracting the females to the quiet ones waiting next to the chirpy ones who happily do the rest. Lesson of the day: Empty vessels INDEED make the most noise. Another interesting fact for the day is that males that call and attract females don’t live as long as males that spend more time silently waiting for the kill – go figure.

I’m told they – the birds, I mean, will be sticking around until April, so feel free to take your study of birds and the bees in depth, National Geographic style!