Someone tagged me on a short version of this on Facebook, and I was immediately captivated. This is the mating dance of the stunning, jewel-eyed Hooded Grebe, a critically-endangered bird found only in Patagonia. Their courtship is so wacky and comical-looking, even the normally fairly serious National Audubon Society calls it bonkers.
“The Hooded Grebe’s courtship dance may look funny, but with fewer than 500 breeding pairs remaining, this is serious business. Its numbers have declined by about 80 percent in the past 25 years, largely due to the introduction of the non-native American mink and rainbow trout, according to BirdLife International. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature labeled the species critically endangered in 2016.” Audubon.com
Even more concerning is the fact that the birds will only form mating pairs when there are enough other grebes around to form a breeding colony, so their dwindling numbers will only get worse if they aren’t protected from predators. I hate the idea that something so beautiful and hilarious and utterly unique could be facing extinction.
To make a contribution toward the preservation of the Hooded Grebe, check out the BirdLife International fundraising page.
And why can’t I get my hair to look like that?