These Rare South American Birds Have A Bizarre Headbanging Mating Ritual

NewsflarePublished: October 11, 201755 views
Published: October 11, 2017

Remarkable footage has emerged of a mating dance between one of South America’s rarest birds. The video, filmed on July 1 2016 in Patagonia, shows the unusual and rarely seen <a href="" target="_blank">courtship ritual</a> of the hooded grebe.

Two individuals can be seen bumping their bodies up against each other, tilting their heads in time with each other and, most strangely, what can only be described as headbanging against each other.

The footage is part of the 30-minute documentary "Tango in the Wind," which documents the conservation effort to save the hooded grebe.

Explain the documentary makers: "During filming we captured the first-ever footage of the hooded grebe's full <a href="" target="_blank">mating dance</a>, after six months in the field, working with locals and Argentinian researchers."

The dance recently went viral. Newsflare licences this clip with permission from the documentary makers. According to the filmmakers, there are only around 800 hooded grebe in existence.

As a family, grebes are known for their showy moves. Great Crested Grebes perform similar courtship dances in their Eurasian breeding grounds, and here in North America, Western Grebes and Clark’s Grebes get so caught up in romance that they run on water. But the Hooded Grebe’s courtship hasn’t been nearly as well documented, thanks to its limited range in the harsh and isolated barrens of Patagonia, near the tip of South America.

Music by Stine Helkjær Engen and Orquesta Tipica Andariega:


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