Courtship


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courtship

[′kȯrt‚ship]
(ecology)
A sequence of behavioral patterns that eventually may lead to completed mating.

Courtship

 

in ornithology, special behavior at the beginning of the mating period by which the male or female bird attracts an individual of the other sex and by which the birds are brought to a state of readiness for mating. Courtship is a form of animal communication and is expressed in various ways. It may involve singing, special flights, the adoption of special poses to display brightly colored plumage, the construction of false nests, or fights and “tournaments.” Courtship behavior is especially characteristic of polygamous species, for example, the black grouse. The males gather together in special areas away from the females. In the rare case of polyandry, as seen in phalaropes, the female courts the male. Among monogamous species the male courts the female.

References in classic literature ?
The girl and Doctor Reefy began their courtship on a summer afternoon.
Any woman experienced in the progress of courtship would have come by certain opinions from all this which would have given her at least a theory to go upon; but no one had ever been in love with Rachel, and she had never been in love with any one.
Casaubon, as might be expected, spent a great deal of his time at the Grange in these weeks, and the hindrance which courtship occasioned to the progress of his great work--the Key to all Mythologies--naturally made him look forward the more eagerly to the happy termination of courtship.
Folks have given up expecting that that courtship will ever arrive anywhere.
Our preliminary courtship concluded, we next proposed (before I returned to school) to burst into complete maturity by becoming man and wife.
Both were blessed with an avarice of speech, and because of it their courtship was a long one.
Eustace had briefly told me, in the days of our courtship, that he had more than once fancied himself to be in love before he met with me.
But he nearly screamed when she succumbed to that caress so at the very first of the courtship and mowed and gibbered and squealed little, queer, pig-like gurgly noises of delight.
The continuous moral irritation of his unhappy courtship--a courtship which had never advanced beyond the frigid familiarity of kissing Natalie's hand in the presence of others-- had physically deteriorated him.
Not to tire the reader, by leading him through every scene of this courtship (which, though in the opinion of a certain great author, it is the pleasantest scene of life to the actor, is, perhaps, as dull and tiresome as any whatever to the audience), the captain made his advances in form, the citadel was defended in form, and at length, in proper form, surrendered at discretion.
He was intimately acquainted with the Stangersons, and, after an assiduous seven years' courtship of the daughter, had been on the point of marrying her.
He was in the very first enthusiasm and delight of his second courtship of Amelia, which was inexpressibly sweet to him.