red-cheeked cordon-blue
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High-speed video captures songbird quick-step

Using high-speed video cameras, researchers from Japan and Germany have discovered a "tap dance" performed by cordon-bleu songbirds.

The rapid stepping is part of a bobbing and singing courtship display, done by both male and female birds, but is so fast that the birds' fancy footwork is invisible to the naked eye.

The research is published in the open access journal Scientific Reports.

Footage: Nao Ota, Hokkaido University

  • 19 Nov 2015