Birds of a feather do flock together

THE old adage that opposites attract may have been disproved by scientists who found that extrovert females are more likely to choose mates who have similar personalities to their own.

Studying a species of birds, they also found that personality seems to be more important to females than looks or assets – like a good beak – when it came to choosing a mate.

The team from the University of Exeter, Carleton University, Canada and the Royal Veterinary College, found that “more exploratory” female birds were more likely to favour the most apparently outgoing and confident males, regardless of the bird’s body size and condition or beak colour. Less exploratory females on the other hand, did not show a preference.

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Dr Sasha Dall, the team leader from the University of Exeter, said: “This is strong evidence that females care about the apparent personality of their male independently of his appearance. We have the first evidence that it is important for partners to have compatible personalities in the mating game.

“This is something we would probably all agree is the case for humans but which has been overlooked for other species.”