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πŸ“½ by @jonny_g_photography

Sharptail grouse gets his award ceremony cut short by a rival grouse.

The first time I saw this I though the grouse got grabbed by a bird of prey, I was gonna talk about how mating season is a good time for predators to hunt because their prey is so preoccupied with reproduction that they toss their personal safety onto the backburner.

Now that I know that the perpetrator was a rival conspecific, I’ll just supplement the video by trying to explain their dance.

It’s basically a yearly reproductive olimpiad, where the males compete for the favor of the “judges” by stomping around and trying to intimidate the others, all the while trying to hold the centre of this little patch of dirt, known as a lek.

The males will jockey for position on this lek, hitting and scratching eachother with their feet and bashing eachother with their wings. The winner is the male who can strut his stuff the longest while keeping the center of the lek.

This video illustrates that the females ruling is never final, as rival birds will appeal her decision and force an adjournment.



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