Australia My Land

Australia My Land

Discover Downunder

Bower Bird

"Bowerbirds another bird that is native to Australia!"

A collector of just about anything BLUE!

Australian Bower BirdAustralian Bower Bird

Satin Bowerbirds are very closely related to Birds of Paradise.

So called because of the mature male has striking glossy blue-black plumage finished like satin with a beak that is white with a tinge of blue and violet.

The younger birds resemble each other males and females colouring is similar, and are referred to as 'green' birds. Olive-green above, a lighter white with dark scalloping below and have brownish wings and tail. The bill is little browner in colour. Interesting the male birds don't fully acquire there adult plumage and colours until they are almost seven years old.

There are 18 species of Bowerbird in the world of which you will find in seven of which you will find in eastern and south-eastern coast of Australia. Male and females have very bright lilac, bluish eyes but are very different in other ways. The male is about 25 to 35 centimetres long, and his plumage is black with a glossy purple-blue sheen. The female is smaller and coloured with a shiny grey-greenish, dusky brown and dark brown with an off white or cream underbelly.

Bowerbirds are a medium sized bird that prefer the wetter forests and woodlands, and nearby open areas. The best known and the most documented of all the bowerbirds in Australia, is the Satin Bowerbird; the bird's fame partially stems from its practice of building and decorating a bower to attract females. Males decorate either end of the bower with, feathers, berries, snail shells, flowers, leaves and will collect and use predominantly blue objects they source out blue clothes pegs, are a favourite bits of blue plastic, like milk bottle caps, or straws blue ribbons and its not uncommon for then to use a little yellow in the mix.

The breeding and courting season runs from September to February and it is during this time you will find the males dancing, jumping and making exaggerated movements with his tail raised over his back all for the female, offering gifts, pointing his beak to the ground, flicking his wings around and showing off around his bower. All this is happening and he is making hissing, chattering, buzzing and creaking noises so much so his eyes bulge outwards!. If he has impressed her enough mating takes place.

Bowerbirds feed mostly on fruits throughout the year but will also eat larvae, spiders, small lizards and frogs the diet is supplemented with insects and seeds, leaves are often eaten during the cooler months. Their call in alarm can be very harsh a wheezing type hiss. They can also make continuous croaking type sounds, explosive churnings and whirring rattles. In display the males emit harsh chattering, buzzing and creaking churnings interspersed with loud ringing notes and mimicry of local birds.


Photo courtesy of Gerry Pearce


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