Yes, the Short-tailed Babblers were courting

Ong Ei Leen downloaded her video clip on YouTube in March 2014 showing what she claimed to be a pair of Short-tailed Babblers (Malacocincla malaccensis) in a courtship dance.

There were some doubts on whether it was courtship or aggression as there were no clear views due to the vegetation around.

Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai has this to say: “…I cannot say for certain as I have not had the pleasure of seeing this behaviour personally but considering that most of the action is from one bird, it is more likely courtship from the male.”

Birdwatcher extraordinarie Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS has this to say: “I was not sure at first as the first part of the behaviour was rather ‘violent’. So I watched the video four times and also download it so that I could slow down frames to look. The second part of the recording supports courtship display with the bird on the ground being a passive observer and the active bird (presumed male) taking pains to do an elaborate display. Excellent documentation.”

So the video clip recorded courtship after all.

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