Wing Ding: Bird rubs feathers for cricketlike song | Science News

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Wing Ding: Bird rubs feathers for cricketlike song

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8:16am, July 27, 2005

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.

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