National Geographic : 1955 Jan
Tom Stretches Wings as if Taking a Vow to Be a Good Husband This suitor may have overstated his merits, for the lady in the back ground has overheard the conversa tion and is favorably impressed. "Would the gentleman care to look further before deciding?" she in quires, strolling over. Such inter ruptions of a courtship can cause un ladylike battles. Center panel: Her rival gone, the female spreads wings in an invitation to the dance. The gentleman trum pets his acceptance. + Standing on the nest, the male pirouettes and emits a piglike squeal. His lady chooses to follow him in the figure; another might tread a solemn tap dance by herself or stand stock-still in ecstasy. Eventually, when he completes his circle, she will stamp toward him until chests almost touch. Then suddenly both birds will collapse, exhausted. After a rest, the intricate performance starts all over. Albatrosses usually mate following one of these noisy performances.