Yup, it’s sure looking like a miracle. That’s the “Cloaca Kiss”… a horrible term some snarky scientist made up to describe the moment of insemination in burd mating. You see, burdz have very efficient little anatomies so they basically have one tube (the cloaca) and one hole (the vent) to do all of their dirty work. Just about everything that comes out of a Piping Plover, including turds, eggs, and semen comes down the cloaca and out the vent. So for Tufters to fertilize Tacey, their itty-bitty cloacas must smooch.
That’s the classic Burd Mating photo with the male stepping on the back of the Lady. But there is not much actual mating going on here. These shenanigans are really just preparation (finding balance, generating semen, and moving Tacey’s tail to the side) for the big moment: The Cloaca Kiss. Mmmmmuuuahhhh!!!
It is certainly a hairy maneuver requiring tons of balance, strategy, and a little luck. It happens so quickly, it would be easy to assume that one burd simple fell off the other burd.
But there it is for you in graphic detail. Notice Tufters’ itty-bitty tail wrapped around under Tacey in the first photo. TMI, and TMP (Too Much Photo). Classic Readings From The Northside... a photo that took an impossibly long time to capture for the lukewarm reaction of “hmmm… that’s kind of gross!”
But there it is. The Cloaca Kiss. A little bit cool, a little bit disgusting. Coolsgusting!