Males of a South American forest bird make courtship music with built-in scrapers—just as insects do. This is the first example of a vertebrate producing sound in this manner, scientists report.
A male club-winged manakin in Ecuador creates a series of seductive "tick tick tings" by knocking together his wings over his back, says Kimberly Bostwick of Cornell University. A single knock makes the tick, and repeated, high-speed knocks make the ting. That ting requires that kinked wing feathers repeatedly slide over tiny washboard ridges on the feathers beside them when the wings come together.
Although crickets and other musical insects rasp a scraper over a ribbed su