This Courting Bird Has More Dance Moves Than John Travolta

When they’re courting, male Carola’s Parotia put on one hell of a show. Whenever this bird-of-paradise from New Guinea gets females to visit his painstakingly-prepared display court, he runs through six specific dance moves, each of which has to be performed well, and in the right order, to convince a female he’s a worthy mate.

This video from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology shows his six moves in more detail, discussing the finer points of the perch pivot, head tilt, court hop, swaying bounce, hop and shake, and the pièce de résistance, the ballerina dance.

You can also watch a male Carola’s Parotia move from the hop and shake to the ballerina dance without the cutaways or funky dance music in the below clip from Jungles in Paris.

[Scholes 2006]

Video: Cornell Lab of Ornithology [Jungles in Paris: Filmed by Tim Laman and Ed Scholes]