Round-nosed fins birds: females attract the attention of males

 It is normal for Birds when a male puts on bright colors, screams loudly, attracts the attention of females in any way possible, and then dumps into the sunset. It is normal for birds when the male and female are equal, and mating games are a test of strength and dexterity, which is designed to identify a worthy partner. But for the females to fight for the male? This is a unique situation, typical for only a few species. Round-nosed fins are one of them.

Round-nosed fin bird" by "https://madison Audubon" is licensed under CC by Becky Matsubara
"Round-nosed fin bird" by "https://madison Audubon" is licensed under CC by Becky Matsubara

It is not clear where and when the gender role reversal occurred, but now the females of this species are larger, brighter and bolder than the males. They are up to 20 cm long and weigh about 40-45 grams! If the numbers don't impress you, then that's fine, round — nosed fins are the smallest fins on the planet.

Let them not come out in size, but their love passions are concentrated. At the beginning of May, when the snow has not yet fully descended, the Arctic wastelands of North America and Eurasia resound with loud screams. These brightly made-up and alert girls attract the attention of modest guys.

It's not enough for them to just yell loudly, the girls clog up their territories on the banks of rivers and the outskirts of swamps. The larger the territory — the higher the chance to grab a boyfor yourself, so the females are in a state of constant war with their neighbors: each tries to increase their possessions.

These tricks are justified: sooner or later, a good boy gets caught in the network of an insidious seductress. Together they spend several wonderful days, and then the female simply disappears, leaving only the eggs to the faithful.

The next month in the guy's life will be truly unforgettable. He will have to protect the clutch from predators alone, do not let the eggs cool down and have time to eat himself. Getting food is a simple but long-term task. Birds feed on daphnia, cyclops and other small invertebrates.

But these crustaceans are so tiny that even such a small bird requires a whole hole of them. To get enough quickly, the bird resorts to a trick: it quickly floats in a circle, creating a miniature whirlpool. Unable to resist the current, invertebrates fall into the funnel, and the floater quickly eats them.

To the great relief of a single father, you need to get food only for yourself. Newborn chicks are active and require custody only a couple of days after birth. In a short time, their father runs them a young bird course and flies south to warm his tired bones. And who will stop it? Children will learn to fly only by the 20-25 day of life!

By the beginning of July, the male will settle in the Mediterranean, off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula or on the coast of Mesoamerica. And find his missing lover there! All this time, the lady enjoyed the warm sea and bright sun!

By the beginning of September, the parents will be joined by their offspring. Barely standing on the wing, young birds leave their small homeland. Their journey will be long — yesterday's chicks do not have enough strength and they often stop for rest and a snack. But the trip is worth it: the swimmers live in a warm climate for most of the year, only returning to their cold homeland in April.

I like to give a joking, subjective assessment of tummies at the end of the article. But now I'm confused. These birds are incredibly funny, even unique — it still remains unclear why the floaters have gender roles turned topsy-turvy. And at the same time, their way of life evokes strange associations in me. The moral guidelines of each character are questionable, but it all ends with a nice vacation in the south with the whole family. Did I just write a lousy soap opera?