Field Frame Friday: Shake that tail feather!

Spotted on the border of Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, this male African Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) uses his long tail feathers to attract a mate, for life. During the mating season his 2 central tail feathers will grow to be 30 cm (or almost a foot) long, so that he can put on a colorful courtship display. He flies around in a bobbing fashion to best show off his bright, extravagant tail, followed by calls to females so they can get a good look at his bright and healthy mouth and epic dance skills. After his mate is selected and accepts monogamous life, African Paradise Flycatchers equally share parenting jobs of building the nest and incubating the eggs.

[Photo and caption by Karli Chudeau]

Moeliker, K. (2020). African Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

[Edited by Maggie Creamer]

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