Robo-bird helps researchers study sage grouse courtship

As any good romantic comedy or steamy paperback novel will tell you, the man with the best strut, biggest biceps or fastest car doesn't always win the girl.

The same is true in the avian world, says UC Davis researcher Gail Patricelli.

To examine the role that social skills play in mating, she and her team employ a custom-built robot bird, constructed mainly of radio-controlled airplane parts, to seduce the not-so-picky male greater sage-grouse into performing its mating dance.

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