5 Bird Courtship Behaviors – Birds Can Be Charming

bird courtship

Ladies…look at these beautiful feathers!

Bird courtship is an incredibly important part of a bird’s life.  Do you know what crazy kinds of things birds will do when they are looking for a mate?

I think we have all seen what men or boys will do in order to attract a girls attention.  Men will go to great lengths to impress a woman, hoping that their grand displays will be noticed.  Well, male birds will do a lot to get noticed by females in the hopes that they will get to mate.  Here is a little bit of information about bird courtship.

What Is Bird Courtship?

Bird courtship is simply the rituals that different species of birds undertake in order for them to choose a mate.  Courtship for humans is kind of like teenagers or young adults going out on dates, wearing nice clothes, or showing off.

If birds are successful at their courtship then they will move on to bird reproduction and nests.

bird courtship

Photo via Flickr.

Bird Courtship – Why Do Birds Do It?

Birds will undertake these elaborate rituals or displays in order to woo or attract a mate.   Birds may do this in order to ensure they are mating with the same species of bird.  Or colorful feathers may signal to the female that the male is very strong and healthy.  A female will want to choose a mate that is strong and healthy in order to make strong and healthy babies.

5 Bird Courtship Behaviors

Display – Many birds will molt prior to the breeding season so that they can grow their colorful breeding plumage.   Birds will try to grow these colorful feathers in order to let the females see how strong and healthy they are.

bird courtship

The female has the gift from the male. Photo via Flickr.

Feeding – For many species, males will bring food to the female.  This shows her that he can find food to feed her while she is incubating the eggs.  This also demonstrates that he can share his food, which he will need to do with the young.

bird courtship

Some birds do an elaborate dance.  Photo courtesy of Andy Morffew.

Dancing – Males and sometimes males and females together perform an elaborate dance to demonstrate that they are smart, agile, and ready to mate and will be a good partner.  For some birds this happens on the ground and for others it is done while flying.

bird courtship

A male western Tanager singing away. Photo via Flickr.

Singing – Many birds will sing songs in order to show their potential mate how smart and mature they are.  A bird that knows and can sign a complicated song clearly is smart, which would be a good trait to have in a mate.  Generally, just the male will do the singing, but for some birds the male and female will sing a duet.

bird courtship

Building a nest. Photo via Flickr.

Building – Some male birds will even build one or several nests.  Then the female will fly around, inspecting the different nests and using those to help her decide who to mate with.  This demonstrates that the male knows how to build the nest, but it also is a way for him to claim territory.