UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — What’s a bird to do when it doesn’t have a singing voice to attract a mate?
Some hummingbirds make their feathers do the singing.
A new study published in the journal Current Biology suggests male Costa’s hummingbirds manipulate the sound of their flight to attract females.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside studied these hummingbirds by placing a male in an acoustic wind tunnel that faced a female in a cage.
They found the male dove to the side of the female and twisted its tail feathers toward her.
Diving to the side is a way to show off how fast the males can fly — which seems to be the trait the females are judging in a potential mate.
The twisting of their tails seems to make their dives sound louder, which the females might interpret as faster.
It may be cheating but it works.