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Let’s Dance

June 5, 2017

Let’s Dance

- as seen by -

Alys Granados Alys Granados

Catching a glimpse of a great argus pheasant engaged in courtship behavior draws tourists from all over the world to the jungles of Southeast Asia. This behavior is performed by males at their dancing grounds which consists of an open area in the forest that they have cleared of sticks
and leaves.

Male argus pheasants can measure nearly 80 inches length which includes their impressively long tail and wing feathers. This makes it easy to tell the sexes apart as females are much smaller in size (around 30 inches).

Argus pheasants don’t fly, and instead, their long feathers have evolved to attract females. During the courtship dance, the male circles around the female with his head towards the ground and his wings extended in two large fans. If the female is impressed she will mate with the male dancer. If not, he has to try again with another female. During the argus breeding season, people may spend hours waiting near dancing grounds, hoping to see the pheasants in action.

Sometimes the male pheasants get confused though, as our camera traps have photographed males displaying for the cameras on a few separate occasions.

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, Southeast Asia Map It


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