AR-News: (UK) Seabird Study Confirms Males Do Not Listen

Snugglezzz at Snugglezzz at
Mon Jun 14 09:08:18 EDT 2004

10:34am (UK)
Seabird Study Confirms Males Do Not Listen 

By John von Radowitz, Science Correspondent, PA News 

A study of seabirds has confirmed what women have always known: men do not listen.

Scientists found that female shearwaters judge how much food to bring their chicks from their begging cries.

Male shearwaters, on the other hand, fetch the same amount of food whether the chicks are crying or not.

The researchers found that the males consistently provided more food for the chicks than their partners.

But it was not because they were better parents. They simply did not listen.

Dr Keith Hamer, from Leeds University’s School of Biology, who led the study, said: “We found female behaviour depends on the intensity of the chick’s begging, with mothers of hungry chicks returning very frequently, while those of well-fed chicks stay away for up to eight days.

“Males return to the nest at least once every four days, bringing back food with predictable regularity, regardless of the chick’s cries.”

The researchers made the discovery by dangling microphones into the burrows of nesting Manx shearwaters.

Males provide more food than females in several other sea birds, such as the wandering albatross and giant petrel.

But since males of these species are bigger than females, this is not surprising.

Shearwater males and females, on the other hand, are almost identical in size.

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