Butch Bellbird

The safety net of referring to the animal kingdom for any kind of justification of human gender roles is proven tenuous by the various gender-bending animals that have been discovered. 

The most recent gender rule annihilation comes from an animal sanctuary in New Zealand called Zealandia  where the first ever transgender Korimako, also known as Bellbird, was discovered.  The young bird, born at the center about 18 months ago, was DNA tested female but acts like a male bellbird, and even has some male plumage.

Intrigued by the bird’s behavior and physicality, moult expert Ben Bell advised:

"It could be due to a hormonal imbalance or it could be a reaction to shock or an incomplete moult - given the appearance and behavior, any of those would be unusual though."

The “butch bellbird” has the characteristic white cheek stripe of a female bellbird on one side, but also the dark body plumage of a male. He/she also calls like a male and female bird.  The true test of this identity crisis will be tested when the mating time comes around.  Although there has been a variety of birds that display homosexual behavior, none have shown transgender disposition. 

As nature continues to reveal how vastly diverse and complex species are, humanity can take a lesson in the possibility for exceptions to the rules.  


Image courtesy of Wikipedia