Midnight Reflections on Motherhood

Back in my college days, I watched a documentary on the animals of the Galápagos Islands. Zoologists observed strange, heartless behavior in a bird there:

The Nazca booby, a Galápagos Island seabird, emerges from its shell ready to kill its brother or sister (Science Daily).

In the video, I saw the evidence. If a mother had more than one offspring, the larger one shoved the smaller out. Where it died.

Biologists have linked the murderous behavior to high levels of testosterone and other male hormones found in the hatchlings (Science Daily).

Sometimes, when I watch my children (all boys) interact, this clip comes to mind. Especially the last bit. See, the shocked zoologists tried stepping in; stopping Little Billy Booby from ousting Little-er Harry.

What happened? The mother died. She just couldn’t keep up with feeding that extra mouth.


Well, I’d best go tuck all my boobies into bed…

©2021 Chel Owens

48 thoughts on “Midnight Reflections on Motherhood

  1. Deb Whittam March 26, 2021 / 11:54 pm

    Owls are a bit more practical. The parents eat first and then feed the strongest. The strongest will often torment it’s siblings to death. Survival of the fittest I guess

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 27, 2021 / 8:32 am

      Well, see, that’s because owls are smart.


      • Deb Whittam March 27, 2021 / 2:50 pm

        The wise old bird 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Miriam Hurdle March 27, 2021 / 12:45 am

    I watched that too, Chelsea, but I missed the part that the parent bird would die trying to raise both. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. obbverse March 27, 2021 / 1:14 am

    No treading on egg-shells for Mother Nature, not in the long tortured scheme of things.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mrs ESTJ March 27, 2021 / 2:24 am

    This made me laugh. I hope the boobies slept well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 27, 2021 / 8:35 am

      😀 Mostly. My youngest booby still wants a bottle halfway through the night. At least I don’t have to regurgitate his food like a *real* booby mommy.


      • Mrs ESTJ March 27, 2021 / 9:11 am

        Yuck! How young is the youngest booby? I don’t miss those sleepless nights.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Norah March 27, 2021 / 3:28 am

    Wow. That’s amazing. Such beautiful birds. What’s the moral, Chelsea?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 March 27, 2021 / 8:19 am

    Gosh nature is harsh…why have two eggs when you can only mange one? Okay I assume it’s so there’s no chance of an infertile egg.
    I had three boys too, not sure I survived 🦋💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 27, 2021 / 8:42 am

      Heir and a spare, I suppose.

      I think you’re all the richer for your experiences, Willow. Right?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. johnlmalone March 27, 2021 / 11:39 pm

    savage and brutal: I guess this is life at its most elemental level
    : thank goodness, we humANS are more compassionate

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2021 / 12:14 pm

      You’re literally the only one who caught that…


  8. D. Wallace Peach March 29, 2021 / 9:26 am

    Oh dear. Being a mom of boobies is hard, Chelsea. I hope yours went to bed without kicking each other out. And I hope you got a good sleep as well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. acflory March 29, 2021 / 3:41 pm

    I remember walking the Offspring up and down at 4am, so tired I was almost asleep standing up. I have no idea how mothers of twins manage. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 3, 2021 / 11:18 am

      It would be a very interesting place to visit.


  10. Jules April 5, 2021 / 10:07 am

    Nature often perplexes humankind. But I think the converse is true as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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