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Old 15 February 2010, 08:28 PM
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Jenn Jenn is offline
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Location: Alberta
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Icon06 Wounded swallow and her mate

Comment: Love and Sorrow. Swallows: She was hit by a car as she swooped low
across the road.

Her mate brought her food and attended to her with love and compassion.

He brought her food again but was shocked to find her dead. He tried to move
her ... a rarely-seen effort for swallows!

Aware that his sweetheart is dead and will never come back to him again, he cries
with adoring love. He stood beside her, saddened of her death.

Finally aware she would never return to him, he stood beside her body with
sadness and sorrow.

Many people cried after seeing these photos in America, Europe, Australia,
and India. The photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the most
famous newspaper in France. All copies of that edition were sold out on the
day these pictures were published.

And many people still think animals don't have feelings?????
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Old 16 February 2010, 06:41 AM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
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Errm - he's actually attempting to mate with injured bird. Duck necrophilia has been reliably reported (and made it into the Ignobels) and this is swallow necrophilia.
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Old 16 February 2010, 06:59 AM
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black roses19 black roses19 is offline
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That made me laugh a lot more than it should have, I think.
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Old 16 February 2010, 07:32 AM
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NotYouMe NotYouMe is offline
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I'm fully aware of the observations of duck necrophilia, but I have to say that I don't see anything to indicate that such an act is shown here. It's possible, but the only photo that might indicate such a phenomenon is the third one. That said, it could also show a bird trying to wake a mate. I think it's fair to say that the comments in the OP might be reading too much into what is depicted (given the lack of photographic context), but the same is true for saying that it must be necrophilia.

While it's true that some birds will take a dead bird as a non-resistant mate, it's also true that many birds possess a high degree of intelligence and are quite able to form strong attachments to certain individuals (bird, human, or otherwise). They might not form these attachments purely out of emotion (at least the way humans understand it), but even if that is absent they might rely on each other for increased chance of survival... When one of the pair dies it might not cause sadness the same way humans understand it, but it could still provoke some kind of anxiety for a creature which has come to rely on another individual for its very survival. In fact, whether one sees this and believes the bird is attempting to mate or not, it's pretty easy to say that the animal clearly does not possess a solid concept of death... In that case, it's not unlikely that the animal is just trying to get its partner to fly away.

I'm not ready to say that the OP describes the situation correctly, as I think it's foolhardy to ascribe human emotions to any non-human animal -- every species is unique, after all. At the same time, just because ducks have been observed humping corpses I don't see that as reason to declare that this sparrow is doing the same. Although I lack photographic documentation, I've certainly seen other bird species in what can only be described as mourning -- again, it might not have been motivated out of human sadness, but that doesn't make it necrophilia.
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Old 16 February 2010, 09:07 AM
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Floater Floater is offline
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I've seen a pigeon trying to mate with one that was so dead you could almost see the crosses in her eyes.
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Old 16 February 2010, 10:09 AM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
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Location: South Oxfordshire
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Originally Posted by Floater View Post
I've seen a pigeon trying to mate with one that was so dead you could almost see the crosses in her eyes.
Such is the way of things. For thine savage beast, any hole's a goal...

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