Love Is In The Air: 4 Birds with Incredible Mating Rituals
Dating is an art, not a science, and nobody knows it better than these birds!
1. The Galapagos Albatross
After months spent at sea, the largest birds of the Galapagos participate in a lengthy and complex series of dance moves when they return to their intended partner. Despite the fact that albatrosses mate for life, that love comes with conditions -- a comprehensive combo of bowing, crowing, chattering and relentless bouts of beak fencing (exactly what it sounds like). Still, it's better than Tinder.
2. The Bowerbird
The Australian bowerbird is an interior decorator, with a specialty in bachelor pads (or "bowers"). Each male creates a structure of meticulously arranged sticks and brightly colored scavenged items which serve as gifts, both natural (flowers, berries, leaves) and man-made (plastic bits, coins, glass), to entice a mate. Some of them even grind up berries to paint the bower walls -- whatever it takes to win the bird version of Design Star!
3. The red-capped manakin
When these striking feathered flirts gather to show off for the ladies (in a group that's called a "lek"), they post up on a branch. Pretty standard, right? Just wait: The manakin's signature move is a flamenco-moonwalk hybrid that transforms the branch to a long skinny dance floor. Shuffling, snapping, and scuttling his way into the ladies' hearts, the manakin is a perfect fit for an all-bird revival West Side Story.
4. The Sandhill Crane
It appears that the secret to successfully mating for life is, as we always suspected, karaoke duet chemistry. Sandhill cranes participate in "unison calling," a synchronized vocal duet that affirms their pair bond and, along with some fancy footwork, nails down their status as the Faith Hill and Tim McGraw of the avian kingdom.