The Life Of Birds: Finding Partners

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The Life Of Birds: Finding Partners
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From: silichip
Videos: 1981
Added: 08-09-2012 17:27:16
Broadcast 2 December 1998, this programme discusses mating rituals. If a male bird is on the lookout for a partner and has a suitable nest, it must advertise the fact, either by its call, a visual display or both. The frigatebird provides an example of the latter, with its inflated throat pouch. The hornbill's courtship, among that of many others, also runs to the offer of a gift. For some species, dancing can also be an important component, and grebes are shown performing a pas de deux. The cock-of-the-rock, which dances solo within a group, is contrasted with the team performance of the manakin. Once trust has been established between a pair, mutual preening can follow. After mating, the individuals usually remain together to rear their eventual family. In this regard, the rhea and the phalarope are highlighted as unusual because in both instances, it is the male that incubates the eggs. Some females judge a prospective companion on its nest-building ability, and this is a conspicuous part of the weaver's behaviour. The bowerbird puts on one of the most elaborate displays: a hut-like construction, completed by a collection of objects designed to impress. Competition among males can be fierce and in Scotland, Attenborough observes rival capercaillies engaging in battle — after one of them chases the presenter. Avian polyandry is not widespread, but is illustrated by the superb fairy-wren, where the male's family can easily comprise young that it did not father.
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