The wandering albatross engaging in a mating dance ritual. (BBC)
The BBC’s highly popular Frozen Planet II left fans in awe after showing off an adorable gay albatross couple.
The incredibly popular docuseries showcased the mating habits of the Antipodean wandering albatross on Sunday (2 October).
The show is narrated by living legend David Attenborough, who explained that the seabirds land on small coastal islands to find mates for the upcoming breeding season.
Like many species in the order of Procellariiforms, albatrosses face a long and arduous process of mating rituals between potential breeding partners until a suitable mate is found. It can take years.
These rituals often take place in the spring as the days turn longer and the searching mates, who begin at age 14, are more abundant.
Frozen Planet II focused on the mating habits of a specific albatross, who was attempting to find love in a small patch of the Antipodes islands.
After a brief stand-off with a competing male, the female albatross quickly lost interest and decided enough was enough, flying off to find a more suitable partner.
“It seems that this is not going to be his year after all,” Attenborough remarked.
But before all hope was lost, the male spotted another potential mate and began the ritual once more – but this time, his mate was another male.
According to Attenborough, there has been a sharp decline in female albatrosses because their usual feeding spot further north has been overwhelmed with industrial fishing fleets that hunt them.
Because of the offset of male and female albatrosses, same-sex partnerships have become increasingly common in the wild, despite already being quite frequent.
“A same-sex partnership like this may bring no survival advantage, but is apparently preferable to a life alone,” Attenborough concluded.
Viewers were naturally won over by the adorable couple, with several people taking to social media to post about their adoration.
“GAY ALBATROSS ON FROZEN PLANET!” one user exclaimed with plenty of crying emojis to match, while another said: “Not me crying at Frozen Planet 2 because of the albatross same-sex couple!!”
NOT ME CRYING AT FROZEN PLANET 2 BECAUSE OF THE ALBATROSS SAME SEX COUPLE AS THEY DONT WANNA BE ON THEIR OWN 😭😭😭😭
— LDOE (@l__doe) October 2, 2022
Cannot cope with the adorable gay birds on frozen planet, choosing a life together than a life alone🥺🥺 #FrozenPlanet
— c l a i r e 🔆 (@thatsmypeachx) October 2, 2022
Others posted about how they “cannot cope” with the adorableness of the bird’s mating dances, with others saying: “Shouldn’t have put on Frozen Planet II when I was already emotional. So far I’ve cried at the shivering penguin cubs and the gay albatrosses and the mama seal.”
The sheer all-caps fervour over the clip’s adorableness has almost engulfed talk about the episode, with so many LGBTQ+ users saying that the clip was a win for wild queers everywhere.
There are some GAY ALBATROSSES on Frozen Planet right now and I’m not emotionally stable enough to handle it today.
— Pete Allison (@Pete_Allison) October 2, 2022
Wild same-sex pairings are incredibly common
The albatross isn’t the only species where same-sex partners can be found. In fact, same-sex behaviour has been observed in over 1,000 different species in the wild, with bisexuality being incredibly prominent.
Penguins are one of the most frequently gay species according to observations by experts looking at both wild and tame habitats.
Gay penguin couples are even able to adopt given the right set of circumstances. In July, a same-sex male couple in the Oceanarium, Bournemouth, became the proud parents of a baby chick.
Couple Diego and Zorro were given a fertilised egg after keeper Kat Nicola thought they were “quite the experts at parenting.”
She initially gave the pair a dummy egg to test their parental instincts and found that both penguins had shown penguin parental prominence.
“The penguins are free to choose who they want to spend quality time with and in their case, they chose each other,” Nicola said. “The well-being and nurture of these animals is our number one priority and therefore we encourage the penguins to make their own decisions when it comes to choosing their mates.”
Read the full article here