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How do birds mate?

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Over 90 percent of birds are considered monogamous. Most birds keep the same mate for the entire mating season and some stay paired for their entire life. Courtship, generally the male's responsibility, usually entails singing but can also consist of tail drumming or dancing.
During breeding season, the male's testes which lie within their body at the end of each kidney 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, moves it to one side while the male climbs up onto her back or gets close to her. Their cloacas are pressed together and the sperm moves from the male to the female. This act is called a cloacal kiss.
The ovum is fertilized in the female bird's oviduct by a sperm cell from the male bird. The oviduct is a tube that transports the egg from the ovary to the cloaca and where the white of the egg and shell are formed. In most birds, the ovary releases an ovum at daily intervals during the breeding season until a complete clutch of eggs is laid. Once fertilized, the ovum becomes the nucleus of the egg. The egg will be laid by the female into her nest, incubated, and then the baby bird will hatch.
Sperm is stored by the female for at least a week, in some species over a hundred days. Then as each ovum from the ovary moves into the oviduct, it gets fertilized with the stored sperm, producing a clutch of eggs, all with the sperm from that one cloacal kiss.
There are a few species of birds where the males do possess a retractable penis that can be pulled back into the bird. These birds include ostriches, cassowaries, kiwis, swans, geese, and ducks. Since waterfowl sometimes make love while in the lake or pond, the penis helps ensure that the sperm is not washed away by the water.
And, although it is not necessary to copulate frequently since the sperm is stored within the female, remember those hormones are still making the birds excited. Many pairs of birds will mate numerous times within a few days.
During breeding season in response to the hormones, the male's testes become several hundred times larger than normal to produce sperm, with the left testis usually larger. The female bird's ovaries also enlarge during breeding season to produce the ovum. Female birds usually only have one functional ovary, the left one.

In birds, an ovum is fertilized in the female bird's oviduct by a sperm cell from the male bird. Once fertilized, the ovum becomes the nucleus of the egg. The egg, that has its own food source, the yolk, will be laid by the female into her nest, incubated, and then the baby bird will hatch.

But how does the sperm from the male bird get into the female? How can they have intercourse without any external male organs, such as a penis? The male's sperm, produced in the testes, passes to the cloaca where it is stored until copulation (act of sex). The female also has a cloaca that leads from the ovaries. The female bird unfans her tail, moves it to one side while the male climbs up onto her back or gets close to her. Their cloacas are pressed together and the sperm moves from the male to the female. This act is called a cloacal kiss...

The sperm is stored by the female for at least a week, in some species over a hundred days. Then as each ovum from the ovary moves into the oviduct, it gets fertilized with the stored sperm, producing a clutch of many eggs, all with the sperm from that one cloacal kiss.

There are a few species of birds where the males do possess a retractable penis that can be pulled back into the bird. These birds include ostriches, cassowaries, kiwis, swans, geese, and ducks. Since waterfowl sometimes make love while in the lake or pond, the penis helps ensure that the sperm is not washed away by the water.

Sperm can be transferred from male cloaca to the female in a blink of an eye - less than a second. Some birds seem to want to linger longer though, sometimes having sex for more than an hour! And, although it is not necessary to copulate frequently since the sperm is stored within the female, remember those hormones are still making the birds excited. Many pairs of birds will mate numerous times within a few days.
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