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Old 19th February 2018, 08:24 AM   #419976  /  #259
Ol' Zipperlaig
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Read my posts with the following stupid accent: N?yfb
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
Originally Posted by borealis View Post
Happy Birdday, MSG.

(hard to find aussie bird cakes, man.)
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
It looks like the little ones are all holding down the big one. Is the big one MSG?
I think the head poking out of the tree trunk is the eclectic Eclectus parrot

a bit like hornbills, the bright red female locks herself in a hollow tree for 11 months of the year and waits for the menfolk to feed her

Female eclectus, on the other hand, almost never leave their nest tree once they have found a suitable hole to nest in, so they remain dependent upon their mates to forage for them while they remain with their tree, defending it against all challengers. Because there is fewer than one nest hollow per square kilometre of rainforest, female eclectus parrots have sometimes been observed fighting to the death over this rare and precious resource. Because they can easily see each other, the female’s brilliant scarlet colouring serves as a visual warning to potential interlopers that a particular tree is occupied. Predatory birds can also see the female’s contrasting plumage, especially because she often positions herself prominently on top of her nest tree, but she quickly retreats into the safety of her nest hollow when threatened.

Because of the rarity of nest hollows, eclectus parrots have evolved a fascinating mating system. Limited nesting opportunities prevents this species from establishing a monogamous pairing, which is common amongst parrots, and it also prevents a classical polyandrous mating system where the female competes for and mates with several males who have their own nests. Instead, the rarity of nest hollows causes eclectus parrots to maximise their reproductive output by evolving cooperative polyandry. This is where the female mates with two or more males and all of them remain together to raise the chicks. The resident female, who cannot leave her nest tree for fear of losing possession of it, is dependent upon being fed by a number of males — Heinsohn has observed as many as seven males at one nest tree. Are these “extra males” related to each other or to the resident female? Originally, it was thought that they were related or that they might be offspring from previous nests that had not yet dispersed. But molecular data reveal that neither scenario is the case.

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borealis (19th February 2018), Zeluvia (19th February 2018)