The Finch Tap Dance

High-speed cameras reveal a mating dance previously invisible to humans.

It’s well known that a bird’s songs attracts a potential mate, but some African finches take it to the next level. A study published in Scientific Reports shows how researchers used high-speed video to capture the finch’s mating dance. To the naked eye, the birds bop up and down a couple of times while holding a piece of nesting material and singing. Reviewing the high-speed footage, however, revealed the finch’s fancy footwork, three little dance steps in less time than it takes for us mere humans to even blink. The researchers believe the display allows the bird to show off its physical prowess, since the finch who can dance for several minutes needs to be in pretty good shape. So go on, little blue-capped cordon bleu, dance like everyone is watching.