A peacock splays his fancy tail
when he eyes a potential mate:
a bower-bird builds a fancy nest
which he can decorate
with feathers and with pebbles
and with bits of glittery bling;
he knows the female of the species
likes that kind of thing.

Others compose elaborate songs
with whistles and trills and a tweet,
or bring their partner fancy grubs
and delicacies to eat.
While others still will hope to attract
a mate with fancy dancing,
with aerial gymnastics,
with stomping and with prancing.

But birds don’t just go for looks and for food
(though you may have heard the rumour):
they also like their mates to show
a modicum of humour.
So the owl, when he goes courting
(I know this to be true)
is the wisest and most successful of birds -
he uses his wit to woo.

Chatting up the birds

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