A study published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology is apparently the first to examin

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e the effects of aging on the ability of birds to reproduce. The study, which focused on Blue-footed Boobies Sula nebouxii, found that “The DNA of the sperm of older individuals is damaged. This means their offspring have a greater likelihood of suffering from congenital illnesses.”

Females can identify the too-old males by their fading feet, and are less likely to choose males with that particular sign of aging. A few more details on this fascinating study can be found here.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.