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Display: Verb; the Oxford Dictionary defines this as: ‘(of a male bird [though, from what I’ve seen, female birds also respond to and/or participate in displays], reptile, or fish) to engage in a specialized pattern of behaviour that is intended to attract a mate’. The word comes from the Anglo-French desplaier or desploier, meaning literally, ‘to unfold’.

180328 Great crested grebes displaying (1)

The birds section of the Stanford University website has a really thorough description of this behaviour, including a diagram of some of the display postures adopted by their Western Grebe. In Britain, the equivalent bird is the Great crested grebe, which also gets a mention and which has a particularly lovely display to watch, as you can see in these recent shots of local birds displaying.

180328 Great crested grebes displaying (2)180328 Great crested grebes displaying (3)