Turns out it's not just young men who start playing drums in order to impress the girls. A cockatoo parrot in Australia has been spotted tapping out heavy beats for exactly the same reason.

The remarkable palm cockatoo fashions twigs and small branches into 'drumsticks', grips them in its left claw and pounds out steady rhythms on tree hollows.

The elegant black and red bird is the first animal to have been discovered making its own musical instruments.

The reason it does this, according to new research in the journal Science Advances, is because unsurprisingly it wants to find a mate.

Its 'drumsticks' are typically 8in (20cm) in length, making for a solid sound that reverberates throughout the noisy rainforest.

"The female watches the male very closely, including the tool manufacture part, which demonstrates the power of the male's beak when he snips off the branch," said lead researcher Robert Heinsohn from the Australian National University.

The bird, native to New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, also displays an uncanny ability to keep a beat as they perform for the adoring crowds.

But they don't all play at the same pace each has his own style, like all the greats from John Bonham to Ringo Starr.

Palm cockatoo
Drummers are always said to be the crazy ones ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

"We found that the drumming behaviour of the palm cockatoos is remarkably similar to how drumming is used to make music in human societies," said Heinsohn. "You imagine your drummer in a rock band, they set the beat. That's what these birds are doing."

Heinsohn's team think their research may offer a clue as to why human beings evolved a sense of rhythm and musicality. He said: "It might have arisen in the first instance in a display of [human] males showing off to females."