This Bird Can Shake His Tail Feathers

When Irena Schulz discovered her sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita eleonora), Snowball, dancing to the Backstreet Boys, she posted a video of it on YouTube. Among the millions of viewers were neuroscientists Aniruddh Patel, John Iversen and Micah Bregman. They saw the video and proposed an experiment to see if the bird was really dancing to the beat. The findings were published this week in the journal Current Biology.


Video footage from Cell Press, Irena Schulz. Cover shot courtesy of Irena Schulz.

Meet the Producer

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman was the host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.