Rifle Bird’s Display: A Meaningful Dance
The Victoria’s rifle bird named after Queen Victoria and known also as the bird-of-paradise was discovered by John Macgillivray in 1848. This endemic bird for Australia became famous as rifle bird due to the rifle-like sound it produces while flying.
The smallest rifle bird measures 23–25 cm. When the male bird has to attract female bird he begins a fascinating display with a raspy ‘Yah’ call by erecting the feathers of his throat and sides to accentuate the bright colors of his plumage in the shafts of sunlight that pierce the dimness of the rain forest. He curves his rounded wings above his body and tilts his head back to expose his chin and throat to the light, and then moves from side to side in a fashion that looks almost mechanical like a dab dance.
The pair then face each other closely, and each bird raises and extends its wings forward alternately in an increasingly rapid rhythm. Finally the male embraces the female with both wings, and copulation ensues.
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