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Right eye required for finding Mrs. Right

Finches flirt unwisely if they can only use their left eyes

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3:07pm, October 3, 2012

A patch over a male Gouldian finch’s right eye works like beer goggles, though the bird doesn’t need booze to flirt unwisely. If limited to using his left eye when checking out possible mates, he risks making really stupid choices.

Gouldian finches have caps of black, red or yellow feathers on their heads. In nature, the birds prefer to mate with partners with the same cap color. Yet black-headed males rendered temporarily left-eyed by a tiny removable eye patch flirted as readily with red-heads as with black-heads, says cognitive ecologist Jennifer Templeton of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. That’s not smart because daughters typically fail

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