[A male Western Parotia bird-of-paradise flies in and lands in the middle of his court, a cleared area on the forest floor. He makes some noises and looks around. Another bird, presumably a female, is heard flying in off-camera. The male begins his ballerina dance. He bows, then spreads his feathers into what looks like a skirt, and shakes his head back and forth. He starts moving across the court very precisely while shaking his head, then swings his head from side to side even more dramatically. The female briefly comes into view. An iridescent patch is visible on his throat. He returns to his normal shape and preens his feathers. He pecks at his court.] [Explore Macaulaylibrary.org]

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He starts with a bow, shakes his head rhythmically, and spreads his flank feathers into a skirt—only then does he begin the fancy footwork. The so called “ballerina dance” of the male Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) is a carefully choreographed display performed for any female who chooses to perch on the branch above his well-maintained court. Putting all the elements of this complex dance together takes real skill. Perhaps because good dancing signals overall fitness and heath, only the most coordinated males are chosen as mates. Western Parotias are a type of bird-of-paradise; they live only in New Guinea.