Watch the Superb Bird-of-Paradise’s Courtship Dance
Amusing Planet Kaushik November 10, 2016
From Wikipedia’s page about the bird:
The species has an unusually low population of females, and competition amongst males for mates is intensely fierce. This has led the species to have one of the most bizarre and elaborate courtship displays in the avian world. After carefully and meticulously preparing a "dance floor" (even scrubbing the dirt or branch smooth with leaves), the male first attracts a female with a loud call. After the curious female approaches, his folded black feather cape and blue-green breast shield springs upward and spreads widely and symmetrically around its head, instantly transforming the frontal view of the bird into a spectacular ellipse-shaped creature that rhythmically snaps its tail feathers against each other, similar to how snapping fingers work, whilst hopping in frantic circles around the female. The average female rejects 15-20 potential suitors before consenting to mate.
Photo credit: www.birdsofparadiseproject.org
Photo credit: www.emaze.com
Other species of the ‘bird-of-paradise’ family are also pretty spectacular. Checkout the impressive spiral tail feathers on Wilson's bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus respublica). The male Wilson's bird of paradise performs an intricate courtship dance for the female in an ‘arena’ which he must tidy, removing leaves and unwanted items so that his amazing colors will be the center of attention.
Photo credit: Serhanoksay/Wikimedia
The ribbon-tailed astrapia (Astrapia mayeri), another species of bird-of-paradise, is so named for its two extremely long, ribbon-like white tail feathers. The bird is about 32 cm long, but its tail can be over a meter long. The male ribbon-tailed astrapia has the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird, over three times the length of its body.
Photo credit: markaharper1/Wikimedia
Photo credit: Francesco Veronesi/Wikimedia
The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise (Pteridophora alberti) sports two remarkably long scalloped, enamel-blue brow-plumes that can be independently erected at the bird's will. The male's ornamental head plumes are so bizarre that, when the first specimen was brought to Europe, it was thought to be a fake.
Checkout the Birds-of-Paradise Project Project for more information, pictures and videos about these magnificent birds.
Photo credit: Tim Laman/National Geographic
Photo credit: David Cook/Flickr