Mutual camera sex

Bobbing (shaded bars) with multiple steps (white bars) is repeated often, and usually singing occurs several times.

White and shaded arrows in (b) correspond with the colour of bars in (c).

Performing rapid stepping behaviour seemed to enable male and female cordon-bleus to communicate via multiple modalities.

Our results suggest that both sexes produce multimodal (acoustic, visual, and tactile) signals for intersexual communication that involves the coordination of several motor systems that control singing, bobbing, stepping, and beak movements.

This specific “tap-dance” like behaviour has never been reported in songbirds and presumably produces non-vocal sounds and/or vibrations in addition to song.(a) When blue-capped cordon-bleus perform courtship display, (b) they simultaneous bob and step, and (c) sing at certain times.

Dance performances did not differ between sexes but varied among individuals.

Both male and female cordon-bleus intensified their dance performances when their mate was on the same perch.

Bobbing tempo depended on (c) whether the partner was on the same perch, and (d) whether birds were singing.

Similarly, the number of steps depended on (e) whether the partner was on the same perch, and (f) whether birds were singing.

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