Same-sex pairs of monogamous birds are just as attached and faithful to each other as those paired with a member of the opposite sex.
The insight comes from a study of zebra finches - highly vocal, colourful birds that sing to their mates, a performance thought to strengthen the pair's bond.....
The findings indicate that, even in birds, the drive to find a mate is far more complicated than simply the need to reproduce.
"A pair-bond in socially monogamous species represents a cooperative partnership that may give advantages for survival," said Dr Elie. "Finding a social partner, whatever its sex, could be a priority."
There are many other examples of same-sex pairing in the avian world. In monogamous gulls and albatrosses, it gives females the chance to breed without a male partner. "Female partners copulate with a paired male then rear the young together," Dr Elie explained.Homosexual behavior in animals is well documented in multiple species, not just birds. (More on the Orientation page) Next time someone says "it's not natural", remember that.