The Courting Practices of Birds
Humans practice certain methods in courting. Birds too have different courting displays to attract mates. Courting practices may probably be one of the most fascinating behaviors of birds. The courting methods and sequence vary widely among different bird species. Most behaviors, however, begin with territorial protection and song, followed by demonstrations of mate-attraction, courtship feeding, and choosing of a nest location.
The Lophorina Superba, also known as The Superb Bird of Paradise, is the only member of the lophorina genus. The male lophorina superba is a black bird of paradise with a shimmering green crown, breast shield of blue green, and a black cape that covers its back. The female lophorina superba, however, is different, as it has a reddish brown color.
The male birds show a very unique courtship display. They perform for hours on a chosen branch or in a cleared space on the forest ground. They start by singing very loudly and fast, then they would jump around the female, making their crowns and breast shields spring up around their heads like a head-fan. These birds can be found in New Guinea forests and are hunted for their plumes.
Watch this video of the Lophorina Superba performing the courtship to a female Lophorina Superba.
Demoiselle cranes are birds of the dry grasslands. However, when it is breeding season, they can be found near lakes or marshy areas. A Demoiselle crane, whose feathers have a light gray color, stands 3 feet tall. Its kind can be found in Central Asia and other parts of the continent, but in winter they migrate to Africa and South Asia.
They display elaborate dances to develop their social skills, attract mates, and prepare to breed. In courtship, the female makes the first move by calling each of the males. Then all the cranes start dancing and performing other actions which are known as their courting displays. These actions include bowing, jumping, running, tossing sticks or grass, and flapping their wings.
Watch a video of a dancing demoiselle crane.
Manakins, also known as dancing manakins, are typically small, short-billed birds. Females are generally colored in drab greens and browns. The males, however, have a more flamboyant coloration which are often black with bright plumes ranging from orange-red to egg-yellow. In addition to their elaborate colors, male manakins are noted for their ardent courtship displays. Each male starts by clearing an oblong-shaped area of the forest floor. Also, crucial in the manakins’ courtship dance are two or more thin saplings in each court. The male starts by jumping back and forth between the vertical saplings while incorporating surprisingly loud firecracker-like snaps. The snaps or crackling sounds are produced by the modified wing feathers snapped together when the wings are raised. Other manakins species show their dances on horizontal perch in the forest understorey. A number of male manakins line up on the perch, and each successively flutters over the others, turning a cartwheel in the air while singing a short song. Interestingly, only one of these males will gain favor with the females. Thus, it becomes the ‘alpha male’ or the dominant male which can monopolize matings with female manakins for 12 years or more