Monday, 15 February 2016

pomade ou les moustaches de l’oiseau

First spotted by erstwhile bird-watcher Mademoiselle Titam (l’article est disponible uniquement en français), I was delighted to discover these dapper little moustachioed seabirds called Inca terns (Larosterna inca), native to Chile and Peru, cleaving to the Humboldt current that drives the South Pacific like the dynamo Gulf Stream that warms Europe. What I found really striking—given our human biases, was that for what we’d consider a very masculine trait, there’s very little dimorphism between the males and the females in terms of plumage, and all the terns sport the same look, unlike for those with antlers, manes or the birds-of-paradise. I suppose other sea-going fowl, gulls and penguins, do look quite uniform across the genders.