When you think of the showoffs and the attention seekers of the avian community, you might picture a peacock or flamingo. Odds are your mind won’t automatically go to the crimson horned pheasant…until now, that is.
The crimson horned pheasant, also known as Temminck’s tragopan (Tragopan temminckii) is native to eastern India, southern and central Asia, and central China. The bird has a short bill and short tail feathers with respect to its wing length. Its population is slowly decreasing, but its conservation status is listed as “least concern” on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.
Like many birds, the female is a dull gray-brown color to help her maintain camouflage for her safety and that of her young. But the male is a far more visually attractive red or orange color with white spots, pink legs, and a spectacular blue face and lappet (the skin that hangs down from the face), with a pair of blue horns to match.
Once this handsome fellow is ready to perform his surprise mating dance for an unsuspecting female, he’ll hide behind a rock and inflate his lappet in preparation for the ambush.
When a suitable female comes along, he’ll jump out from behind the rock and run around flapping his wings, chasing the female until she either escapes or submits to his advances. Romantic, right?
Well, recently, this handsome male’s mating dance caught the attention of more than just the female of the species. Thanks to the power of the Internet, many people are now sharing their reactions to this elusive creature’s mating dance. And the verdict is that it’s about as interesting and entertaining as anything nature has to offer.
Check out the video below to see the mating dance up close, and then keep scrolling to find out what other people think of it.
“‘Mate with meeee, mate with meeeee, mate with meeeee…'” joked Reddit user limegreenscrewdriver.
Swordbreaker925 chimed in: “Oh, but when I chase women around in an imposing pose, it’s ‘sexual harassment’ and I ‘need to leave the Home Depot.’ Double standards.”
Other commenters have referred to the bird as a real-life Pokémon or a drag queen. But no matter your opinion, it’s definitely a heck of a show. Can you imagine if all animals – big and small alike – made this much of a commotion when seeking a mate? Redditors seemed to think they’d be likely to chase away a potential mate if they tried something this rowdy.
What do you think? Could humans stand to learn a thing or two from the crimson horned pheasant’s tendency to pull out all the stops for his mate? Or is it better to play it cool?