Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shall we dance?

I came across this fascinating little bit of info about a fascinating little bird.  Now, I'm not generally much of a bird person, but this bird is something else.

This is a Manikin.  It's described as a 'compact stubby bird, with short tails and a big head', and they're found in Mexico and South America.

Hmmm.. doesn't really look like anything special, does it?
But wait -- because it's not this bird's appearance that caught my eye, it's what this bird can do.

Yes, yes, yes, we've all seen video of male birds hopping around in order to attract the attention of female birds.  But what the Manikin does is no ordinary hopping.  When the male manikin sees a potential mate, he kind of skitters to the side, and then hops forward, and then jumps back, and then does more skittering.

Sound familiar?  Well, it should.  This little bird looks like he's doing Michael Jackson's moonwalk, except many times faster.  And just in case the fancy footwork isn't enough to catch the eyes of the ladies, the Manikin emits these weird buzzing and clicking noises, that are created by the vibration of his wing tips.

I can sense your skepticism, and I fear that my description fall short.  So check it our for yourself. Just a short little video.  If you want to see more, you can find longer clips from NatGeo Wild, and from the BBC, on YouTube.

There...  leaves you kind of speechless, doesn't it?  I've already watched the video many times, but it still fascinates me.  I think I'll make another cup of tea, and then come back and watch this again.

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