Female-Female Pairing in Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) in Southern California

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Science  24 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4297, pp. 1466-1467
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4297.1466


Pairs of females that remain together from one year to the next are associated with the presence of supernormal clutches in western gull nests. Intervals between laying of eggs in supernormal clutches are less than those found in normal clutches, a result indicating both females in a pair contribute to the clutch. Most eggs in supernormal clutches are infertile. The pairs of females occupy territories that are not shared with a resident male. In three homosexual pairs one of the females exhibited behaviors normally ascribed only to males.