There are five species of Tragopan pheasant, chicken-size arboreal birds that live in forests across Asia. The males of each species—western, satyr, Blyth’s, Temminck’s, and Cabot’s—are hardy birds with vivid colors and patterns.
“This beautiful pheasant found across Northern Asia has an extraordinary courtship display, using a log or visual obstruction between the female tragopan, the male creeps in and inflates the hidden horns and throat lappet and pumps himself up to suddenly appear over the log to the female who is nearby. These displays are often abandoned if the female is not in the perfect position to view the display and I have observed several tragopan species tapping the log or flicking leaves to attract the female bird’s attention before the male begins the full display.”
The log component of the mating display can be seen in the video below. It features a young satyr tragopan’s attempt to impress the camouflage-colored female who is present in the first part of the video. The male’s display seems mild at first, until the very end. Wait for it.
Find more of Jonathan Pointer’s bird keeping videos on YouTube.
Then watch more mating displays on TKSST, including:
• Stomping, fluffing, puffing: The mating displays of lesser prairie-chickens
• Strutting, puffing, popping: The sage grouse’s mating call
• Widow birds bounce and leap for attention
• Rare footage of the Hooded Grebe courtship dance
Bonus: The Peacock Spiders of Australia.