16 Beautiful Bird Courtship Displays

Cranes dancing
(Photo: Josh Anon/Shutterstock)

Love is in the air, and you know what that means. Whether they're skipping across the water, showing off their plumage or performing dances, birds put on spectacular courtship displays.

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red-crowned cranes
(Photo: AndreAnita/Shutterstock)

Red-crowned cranes (seen here and above) are known for their carefully orchestrated courtship dances.

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Sandhill cranes
(Photo: Manith Kainckara/Flickr)

The couple that dances together stays together, and these sandhill cranes put on a lively show.

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Clark's Grebes
(Photo: Dave Menke/USFWS)

Clark's grebes skip across the water in this courtship display called "rushing."

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Grebes
(Photo: Airwolfhound/Flickr)

Great crested grebes approach one another with weeds in their bills.

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Bee eater display
(Photo: Rahul Sharma/Flickr)

A male bee-eater shows off for a female, complete with an insect offering.

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Bee eater offering
(Photo: Mark Caunt/Shutterstock)

Bee-eaters engage in courtship feeding, which helps keep the female healthy so she can lay her eggs.

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bower bird nest
(Photo: Christine/Flickr)

The male satin bower bird creates a beautiful nest display to charm the female. These birds often use colorful items found near the nesting site.

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Albatross snuggle
(Photo: Liam Quinn/Flickr)

The courtship display between black-browed albatross pairs falls somewhere between a playful sparring match and a snuggle.

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Roseate spoonbill
(Photo: Michael Rosenbaum/Flickr)

Roseate spoonbills dance with each other atop a high branch on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

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Lesser florican
(Photo: Koshy Koshy/Flickr)

The male lesser florican leaps from the monsoon-soaked grasslands, a bold movement that says "Here I am!"

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Great egret plumage
(Photo: Lori Skelton/Shutterstock)

The breeding plumage of male great egrets may not match the vibrant peacock's, but it's certainly impressive.

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grey crowned crane
(Photo: Andrzej Kubik/Shutterstock)

The male grey crowned crane dances, jumps, spins and bows to impress its mate — and what a lovely moment when she finally accepts him!

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Barrow's goldeneye
(Photo: Ingrid Taylar/Flickr)

A Barrow's goldeneye skips across the water as he chases a beloved female.

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Bustard plumage
(Photo: Bildaentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock)

During breeding seasons, great bustards look impressive with their puffed-out chests and fluffy feathers.

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Gannets
(Photo: Russell Watkins/Shutterstock)

Much like the albatross pairs, gannets will shake their heads and rub beaks with one another as part of their courtship.

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