A tiny bird called a golden-collared Manakin displays one of Nature’s most amazing “mating dances” — demonstrating the male’s speed and agility, and thus its genetic fitness.
For most male bird’s, finding the right mate is tough work; female birds are picky and prefer mates that have their particular species’ mating rituals down pat — no mistakes or mediocre performances allowed.
And for a small, Meso-American bird called a golden-collared Manakin (Manacus vitellinus), the appropriate “mating dance” requires all the right moves — astoundingly fast and agile ones as a matter of fact — that demonstrate both its speed and coordination.
The male manikin’s mating dance has been described as looking like it was “shot out of a canon” followed by a perfect, pin-point landing on its perch (preferably one very close to a promising female), thus demonstrating the aforementioned, dual traits, and its genetic fitness, of course.
Females obviously prefer to mate with the most successful of these avian acrobats. Not surprisingly either, mating time is a stressful time for the males; such gymnastic perfection forces the bird’s heart rate up to one of the highest known in the avian world.
Watch the amazing mating dance of the golden-collared Manakin:
The golden-collared Manakin is a member of the Pipridae family and is found primarily in Columbia, Panama (where this video was shot) and Costa Rica. Its preferred habitats are tropical and subtropical, lowland rain (moist) forests and even older, degraded (mostly dead) former forests.
For more on this unusual and mesmerizing bird, check out the World Science article ‘Bird’s mating dance leaves scientists goggle-eyed’
Photo and video: courtesy of UCLA