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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Female-female pairing in Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) in Southern California

  • Author(s): Hunt, GL
  • Hunt, MW
  • et al.

Pairs offemales that remain together from one year to the next are associated with the presence ofsupernormal 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 offemales 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.

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