Gay Swans Set Up Nest At World's Only Swannery In Dorset

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Two male swans have ruffled feathers at the world’s only swannery in Dorset after they set up a love nest together.
The happy couple at Abbotsbury Swannery are the only homosexual swans among more than 1,000 birds at the reserve.They are believed to be only the second male pair ever to hook up at the reserve. The pair show no interest in their female companions and only have eyes for each other.

Dave Wheeler, from the swannery, said: “The two birds both hatched in 2002 and are sort of together.”They have been together for several nesting seasons and basically keep territory as if they are a nesting pair.”The twosome flock together at the start of the nesting season in March and perform rituals associated with a breeding couple.Manager of Abbotsbury Swannery, John Houston, said: “The swans have been nesting together like this for several years and they get together every nesting season and form a nest together.

“They sit on the nest and act in every way as if they were a pair expecting to lay eggs.”It is quite sweet.”Like most couples, the swans are known for the occasional lover’s tiff, but are quick to sort out their differences.”They just always stay together and I hear that they have some spectacular fights with each other, but they always make up and get back together,” said Mr Houston.”We have more than a thousand swans here in the reserve and they are the only two doing this. We don’t know of any others acting in this way in the area.
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Rhea Chicks Burrow In Their Father's Feathers

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Three of the four new rhea chicks at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo nest in the feathers of their father. The chicks hatched on Apr. 20 and were the first rhea chicks to hatch at the National Zoo in 30 years. Dedicated fathers, it is the male rhea who incubates the eggs and protects the chicks after they hatch. The Zoo is now home to a total of seven rheas: a male, two females, and the four new chicks.

Male Bird at National Zoological Park Has Special Reason to Celebrate Father’s Day How will the only male rhea at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo spend Father’s Day? He will spend it much like he has spent the past eight weeks: as a proud papa nurturing and caring for his four chicks that hatched April 20. This is the first time in some 30 years that rhea chicks have hatched at the Zoo.

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Rhea Chicks Burrow In Their Father's Feathers

1

Three of the four new rhea chicks at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo nest in the feathers of their father. The chicks hatched on Apr. 20 and were the first rhea chicks to hatch at the National Zoo in 30 years. Dedicated fathers, it is the male rhea who incubates the eggs and protects the chicks after they hatch. The Zoo is now home to a total of seven rheas: a male, two females, and the four new chicks.

Male Bird at National Zoological Park Has Special Reason to Celebrate Father’s Day How will the only male rhea at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo spend Father’s Day? He will spend it much like he has spent the past eight weeks: as a proud papa nurturing and caring for his four chicks that hatched April 20. This is the first time in some 30 years that rhea chicks have hatched at the Zoo.

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Feathers Of Seduction

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His bend is deep and dignified even as his cape of velvet black feathers rises to expose pale flanks. Springy wires topping his head tap the ground, one, two, one, two. The showman’s stage is a patch of earth that he’s cleared of forest debris before scattering beakfuls of roots, like petals in a bride’s path. His audience: a row of skeptical females fidgeting on an overhanging limb. Their attention is fleeting, so he launches into his routine, toeing forward on skinny legs like a ballerina en pointe. He pauses for dramatic effect, then moves into the jungle boogie. His neck sinks and his head bobs, head wires bouncing on the offbeat. He hops and shakes, wings flapping or tucked in, chin whiskers fluttering.

His performance has the desired effect. The nearest female quivers in invitation, and with a nasal blast the dancer jumps her. Feathered commotion blocks the view, and it’s unclear whether the romp is successful. But no matter: Another show will begin soon.
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