Visit the Galapagos Island of Española in April and you may get to experience firsthand one of the most interesting and elaborate courtship rituals in the entire animal kingdom. Each spring, tens of thousands of waved albatrosses — nearly the entire worldwide population — return to Española to find their mates and breed.

Waved albatrosses mate for life, a relationship that is resolidified each year through an elaborate and sometimes comical dance that can last up to five days. The spectacle includes a precise series of movements that includes stumbling, bowing, honking, rapid- fire beak fencing, exaggerated head swaying, all punctuated by an occasional “any-a-annhh” sound. A pair that is coupling for the first time or one that failed to breed during the previous season will engage in a longer and more involved ritual.

When the dance is finally complete most pairs will mate and produce a single egg, which the male and female will take turns incubating. Once the egg hatches, both birds will participate in the care and feeding of the nestling. Around January,  nestlings will leave the island and roam the seas for five years before returning to Española to find lifelong mates of their own. Check out the video below: