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The Bowerbird’s Grand Performance! | BBC Earth

April 11, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

The Flame Bowerbird of south-central New Guinea puts on a show to impress the female. Will it be good enough? This is one of the more bizarre bowerbird dances. You may recognized the narrator’s voice.

If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.   [Chuck Almdale]

  1. Marie Velde permalink
    April 11, 2021 4:54 pm

    The end is heartbreaking!


    • Chukar permalink*
      April 12, 2021 1:36 pm

      Yes, you have to wonder just how Mr. Flame might have otherwise handled the situation. Completely a) ignore the male interloper, who then might 1) increase his interference, 2)outright attack our hero, or 3) give up and go away; or b) 1) chase him very vigorously, but return swiftly enough to convince the female to…ahem…proceed “with what you’re leading me to,” as the old song (Witchcraft) goes, 2) chase him very far away, perhaps give him a very good drubbing, then return and start calling in the female(s) again, hoping to pick up where they left off. Decisions, decisions.

      From the point of view of the other male, he – for very little investment of time or energy – managed to increase his own likelihood of mating with that particular female. But then, the first male might remember the interference, and interfere with male #2 at some other time for revenge.

      This has probably been going on among bowerbirds for millions of years. I once watched an adult male Satin Bowerbird completely disassemble the bower of a young male, and steal all his prized blue objects (beads, straws, fruit, pieces of plastic). The young male had to watch his hard work disappear, unable to challenge the older male.

      Does any of this sound like another species of animal you may be familiar with?


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