A new study suggests that birds are more likely to change mates between or during breeding seasons when the weather is severe or uncertain.
For each species in their data set, they measured the rate of infidelity – defined as the fraction of nests containing chicks resulting from an ‘affair’ – as well as the rate of divorce, or the fraction of birds that changed partners between breeding seasons.
When they combined this data with temperature and precipitation records from weather stations near each species’ nesting sites, they found something interesting – birds that breed in changeable climates were more likely to cheat.
Caught in bed with someone you shouldn’t be there with? Learn from the birds and blame it on the weather!