Video credit: Cara Pring
We were lucky enough to come across this Red-crested Korhaan at EcoTraining’s Karongwe camp this week. He was in throes of a very impressive mating dance before he managed to mate with a female!
The male starts off his courtship ritual by conducting a very unique aerial display flight, which starts with an ascending call after which he flies vertically up into the air. Once he reaches a fairly impressive height (sometimes up to 30m), he folds his wings and plummets back to the ground, only stopping close to the ground where he opens his wings for an elegant landing.
Clearly this particular male succeeded in impressing the female with his courtship display and hence started the ritualistic mating dance (captured in the video). He does this by bobbing up and down with a hunched appearance and raising his seldom seen bright red crest (after which he is named). Once it is all over, the female will move off to a suitable breeding area and the male will usually not have any parental responsibilities.”