Great Argus

From our trip to Danum Valley, Borneo.

In the clear­ing the Argus was tidy­ing away the dead leaves, prepar­ing a space to dance in, to impress and woo a female. The mat­ing call is beau­ti­fully sim­ple, a two-toned caw, unmis­take­able. For a won­der­ful 45 min­utes we stood and watched the bird, wait­ing and hop­ing that it might dance. A few times it looked like he was about to start, he ruf­fled his feath­ers and hopped, but then resumed tidy­ing. He had an audi­ence, just not the one he wanted, and despite his caws no female ever came. This was with­out doubt one of the most amaz­ing things either of us had ever seen, unforgettable.