It is a beautiful bird and a bird that is fairly common in Uganda, Africa covering almost half the continent - almost the entire central and the south Africa to speak of it. I saw this bird and its so very beautiful behaviour of such an interesting mating dance we saw it doing.
Okay, the basics first - the bird is fairly small finch bird with a stubby bill at 11-12 cm. The male however in breeding season grows a flowing tail that is more than twice its size and the male now is 30-32 cm and he is ready to dance. The bird was seen in open shrubby habitats and twice in gardens with seedy grass.
Coming to the most interesting aspect - the male's dance - every time we observed it the female would fly and sit on some branch with adequate space to the male to impress it with its dance - the male would dutifully come and hover near the female for 10-12 seconds at a time. Since the hover used to be with the bird flapping the wings and keeping them closed till the bird attained the position in that space, the tail would fly around like a like a magician playing and hypnotising you with swinging ribbons... Our excitement to see the birds doing this dance consumed the entire effort - I forgot that we could have taken a small video clip - however, I did the next best thing I could do - I took internet lessons and stitched my photographs I clicked at 10 frames a second to make some sort of Gif file so that you can see what I am talking about. The effort is not perfect but conveys the idea.
|The beautiful male in breeding plumage...|
|The female - all the trouble is for this girl...|
|A different female watches from a distance...|
|The male ready to do the dance for her female...|
|The tail feathers ending as pointed pins...|
|The dance of the male... (Click this if the Gif does not play automatically)|
|The range of the bird... and a large one at that...|
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