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Gender Roles Among Birds
Elinox
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Post: #1
Gender Roles Among Birds
Sparked by Chordal's post here.

Chordal Wrote:This started me thinking about gender roles among birds. Something that I've found about myself is that beauty is important to me, at the same time as I cannot identify as a woman. (Along with strength.) Among a lot of bird species -- at least in North America, which is the region I'm most familiar with -- the males are smaller and more colorful than the females. This wasn't true with the Harpies, who both shared the same coloring, but not the same build.

I thought it was an interesting idea that warranted its own topic.

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2012-07-10 16:03
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Chimera
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Post: #2
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
I'm not a therian but a harpykin. A snowy owl harpykin to be exact and likewise the avian parts of my body are in coloration to a snowy owl. Being male even though our physical body is female, my feathers are almost all write outside of some spots remaining.

In snowy owls young are born with a lot of black and white in their feathers. As they grow older, the males become whiter and whiter (sometimes loosing all but a few specks of black in a rare few places) while the females remain covered in black as well as white. So in my case as a snowy owl harpykin, its the reverse. Males are sill smaller then females but females have 'more color' to them though in their case both sexes use in camouflage.

Being a gay male and stuck in a female body, I can't say for sure how much it effects me. I know I am not much of a fashion person outside of I am a clean freak kind of person in some ways when it comes to both our body and my innerworld body. while fronting I usually prefer nice clothing (but still casual) but not very colorful or heavily pattern clothing.

- Zeoriel
2012-07-10 16:58
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Post: #3
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
Chimera Wrote:In snowy owls young are born with a lot of black and white in their feathers. As they grow older, the males become whiter and whiter (sometimes loosing all but a few specks of black in a rare few places) while the females remain covered in black as well as white. So in my case as a snowy owl harpykin, its the reverse. Males are sill smaller then females but females have 'more color' to them though in their case both sexes use in camouflage.
When I was talking about colorful as versus less colorful, I was more referring to sexual dimorphism (in those species in which it exists), and how male birds -- when there *is* sexual dimorphism -- tend to be colored in ways that seem designed specifically to attract mates, while females tend to be more camouflaged, larger, heavier, and in the cases of many songbird species, for example, much "duller" (at least to a human eye).

I did go and look up Snowy Owl coloration, and I saw what you were talking about. But just because the males tend to be whiter, doesn't mean that being whiter is different, in this case, than a House Finch male having a magenta head. That is, maybe Snowy Owl males are whiter because generations of female Snowy Owls have selected for that. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile --> The female form seems to follow the pattern of being optimized for camouflage, in addition to being larger and heavier than the male (things that are helpful for egg-laying, nesting, and defending young).

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2012-07-10 22:32
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Post: #4
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
Chordal Wrote:I did go and look up Snowy Owl coloration, and I saw what you were talking about. But just because the males tend to be whiter, doesn't mean that being whiter is different, in this case, than a House Finch male having a magenta head.
Actually, bad example: House Finches have been subject to human genetic intervention. How about this: Just because the males tend to be whiter, doesn't mean that males being whiter is different, in this case, than male Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds having gorgets.
2012-07-10 22:51
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Post: #5
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
Yes, that is what I have read on how snowy owls have their different markings as well. Sense snowy owls lay their eggs on the ground the female needs more camouflage then the male.

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2012-07-11 12:52
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Post: #6
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
Chordal Wrote:When I was talking about colorful as versus less colorful, I was more referring to sexual dimorphism (in those species in which it exists), and how male birds -- when there *is* sexual dimorphism -- tend to be colored in ways that seem designed specifically to attract mates, while females tend to be more camouflaged, larger, heavier, and in the cases of many songbird species, for example, much "duller" (at least to a human eye).

Male birds are also colorful to draw predators away from nesting females. Female "dull" colors help to camouflage them while they're sitting on their eggs.

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2012-07-11 15:43
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Post: #7
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
And let's not forget that in some species, the pair take turns sitting on the eggs. Or, in the case of phalaropes (Big Grin), the females are more brightly colored, larger, and more aggressive; they lay the eggs, and the (smaller, less brightly colored) male sits on them. ^_^
2012-07-11 18:32
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Post: #8
Re: Gender Roles Among Birds
Chordal Wrote:And let's not forget that in some species, the pair take turns sitting on the eggs. Or, in the case of phalaropes (Big Grin), the females are more brightly colored, larger, and more aggressive; they lay the eggs, and the (smaller, less brightly colored) male sits on them. ^_^

I did not know that, cool!

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2012-07-11 20:48
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