Firetail behaviour

Subject: Firetail behaviour
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 08:11:16 +1000
Many years ago, as a schoolboy, I studied Bronze Mannikins Lonchura cucullata
in Zimbabwe and recorded similar courtship behaviour with a flowering grass
stalk - so it seems quite widespread in this group.


Following-up on a suggestion I checked in Simpson and Day (why didn't I
think of that?).
Page 372 in the fifth edition:  "The more primitive Emblema-Neochmia group
(of Australian finches) use an ancestral 'stem dance' at courtship.  The
male holds a long grass stem (or feather??) by the thick end and with stiff
legs bobs up and down on a branch."
Dr Peter Woodall                          email = 
Division of Pathobiology                
School of Veterinary Science              Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland              Fax   = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072          WWW  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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