To really understand how birds choose their mates, it helps to experiment. Learn how biologists can tinker with wild populations to uncover the rules of attraction.

In this illustrated account of a Red-backed Fairywren study, you’ll discover how subtle changes to a male’s wing color can make a big difference.

Launch the immersive A Fancy Experiment Interactive Feature section. Launch Now
A Fancy Experiment is part of a larger Interactive Feature where you'll find:
  1. Fancy Males Find the males in this fast-paced photo quiz Fancy Males
  2. Ways To Be Fancy Watch rare footage of feathers, songs, dances, & design skills Ways To Be Fancy
  3. How Fanciness Evolves Watch as the birds-of-paradise bring evolution to life How Fanciness Evolves
  4. Fancy Males & Choosy Females Tour of the origins of male showiness and female choosiness Fancy Males & Choosy Females
  5. On a Sage-Grouse Lek Experience mating season with the fanciest wild birds in North America On a Sage-Grouse Lek
  6. Fanciness Lost Explore the origins of brilliantly colorful tropical tanagers—and their plain-looking relative Fanciness Lost
  7. A Fancy Experiment Discover how biologists uncover the rules of attraction in wild birds A Fancy Experiment

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