I don’t know how sex ever got to be called “the birds and the bees.” A kid could get mighty confused if he or she took that phrase literally.
Bird lovemaking is romantic and seems almost chaste.
For one thing, over 90 percent of birds are naturally monogamous. Most birds keep the same mate for the entire mating season and some stay paired for their entire life.
The male’s courtship ritual entails not only singing, but also tail drumming and dancing.
During breeding season, the male’s testes which lie within their body become several hundred times larger than normal to produce sperm which moves to the cloaca where it is stored until insemination (the act of sex). In bird anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only opening from which they excrete both urine and feces, unlike mammals, which possess two separate orifices for evacuation.
The female bird’s ovaries are also enlarged during breeding season to produce the ovum. The ovum is a single cell that we recognize as the yolk of an egg.
The female bird unfans her tail and moves it to one side while the male cuddles up next to her. Their cloacas are pressed together and the sperm moves from the male to the female. This act is called a cloacal kiss. Wow…
Bee sex is brief, brutal and restricted to royalty.
Within any colony, there are three types of adult bees: the queen, male drones and female workers.
A colony will typically have only one queen who lays all the eggs. Female workers are sterile and do not reproduce.
Male drones mate with the queen to produce offspring. The actual mating process usually occurs above ground in mid-flight, and results in the death of the drone as he expends semen.
It’s actually worse than I’ve described it…
So we’re teaching kids that sex is sweet and cuddly if you’re a bird, but really, really bad if you’re a drone bee? Very confusing!
I think we should use the phrase “the bunnies and the kitties” instead.