Even Birds Can Fall In Love


Even Birds Can Fall In Love

In breeding season, glands develop at the base of the tail and along the Rictus or bill of both sexes. These sebaceous glands contain species-specific chemicals for which the opposite sex is attuned. Frequently males mark a “nuptial gift” with pheromone and present the pheromone-laced bits to the female. Sometimes the male places his pheromone-laced nuptial gift somewhere and merely point to it, even arranging special powers to make the pointing as obvious as possible. Once the pheromone is accepted by the female, birds “dance” merely to move pheromone receptor proteins from lacrimal glands to chromatographic surfaces. The salty, proteinaceous lacrimal tear film acts as a chromatographic solvent. The pheromone receptor protein sequesters ions from the salty tears and releases them suddenly by conformational change when the pheromone is detected. When the pheromone has been chromatographically sorted and detected by the local dendrites that perceive the potential difference changes of the ion releases, and after the message has been passed up to pheromone association areas of the avian brain, the birds are bonded to mate recognition. Bonding can be seasonal or lifelong, depending upon species.
Avian pheromones from the rictus margin and the preen gland also mark territories and nests, often in peculiar “displacement activity” as described by thoroughly confused ethnologists and ornithologists.

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Writer / BubbaNicholson

Even Birds Can Fall In Love