Somehow, bird mating rituals have become one of my favorite things in the world. It began one day several years ago when a friend and I were talking about someone’s pet birds. How exactly is it that bird eggs get fertilized, and how can someone tell the difference between male and female birds? “Bird genitalia” is a very illuminating Google search. (Did you know that a duck’s penis is shaped like a corkscrew? You do now, and you’re welcome to use that factoid as an ice breaker at the next cocktail party you attend.) This all lead to the hysterical and majestic world of bird mating rituals. So I was delighted when Netflix released a clip from their upcoming documentary series Our Planet that centers on the Bird of Paradise. Narrated by David Attenborough — as all good nature docs are — it’s four and a half minutes of sheer joy. The zesty little tune playing really makes it perfection.
What a stud. Male birds pull out all the stops to impress their lady friends and earn those erect head feathers and quivering wings. Take notes, human men. Did that female bird get sent an unwelcome iridescent throat patch pic? She did not, because male Birds of Paradise know how to behave like a damn gentleman. Be more like him. Get your life in order. ENTICE ME WITH VOLUPTUOUS DANCING. I want this bird on a ballot in 2020. Get him on the phone with Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris, he’d make a fantastic running mate.
All eight episodes of Our Planet will be available to stream on Netflix on Friday, April 5th. They’ll give us a stunning, largely unseen, up close and personal look at the natural world and the very real danger it’s in. If something isn’t done about climate change
decades ago right now, shows like these are going to be all we have left of countless species of plant and animal life. I’d love to feel optimistic, but considering I still see plenty of “What happened to all that GLOBAL WARMING?!” reactions any time it snows…I think I need to watch the bird clip again to cheer me up. We live on an insane, beautiful planet that everyone should want to take care of in the best way we’re able, and we’re more than capable of doing a better job than we’re doing now.
I always get incredibly upset if anything bad happens to any of the animals on these shows (except for the bugs and the fish, who I hate because they’re gross) but I love watching them anyway. I’ve not yet traveled as much as I’d like to and they’re a reminder of how many places there are to go and things there are to see.
So thank you sexy Bird of Paradise for being a hilarious reminder of both how truly incredible our planet is, and how we all deserved to be romanced. If his head plume isn’t shuffling, he’s not trying hard enough.