Bird Courtship

Gail Patricelli studies the courtship behavior of the sage-grouse, one of the most spectacular and bizarre birds in the world, and also being considered for the federal list of endangered species.  Patricelli, an animal behaviorist at the UC-Davis, has rigged up a sage-grouse mating ground in Wyoming with a network of hi-definition video cameras and audio recording devices. She uses a robotic female sage-grouse (fembot!) rigged with cameras to get right up close to courting males.  With funding from the National Science Foundation, her research may shed light on the survival of the species, as there is some evidence indicating noise associated with natural gas fields in Wyoming could be disrupting their mating behavior.

Provided by the National Science Foundation

Runtime: 2:33

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