Stan Emmerson <>
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 22:35:22 +1000
Yesterday afternoon, about 6PM I had a Great Bowerbird displaying
and trying to mate with my cars rear view mirror. I had been observing a
flock of 10 Spinifex Pigeons drinking at a dam near Croydon in the Gulf
Country of Far North Queensland. Seeing the Pigeons I got out of the car
and left the passenger side door fully open. I took my chair & was sitting
at the dam hoping for Gouldian Finches to come in as the temperature was
still about 40 degrees C.
I heard a Bowerbird displaying but took no notice as I had already
seen 3 bowers being used in the last 2 days. The noise got more urgent so I
looked in the nearby trees towards the car but couldn't see the bird. Then
it started to whistle nice notes in amongst the normal gutteral sounds & I
had to find it. I swung around in my chair & looked directly at the car &
there he was sitting on the door where I had wound the window down fully.
His bright pink feathers stretched fully across the back of his head & his
tail going up high above his back as he looked at the bird doing all the
right movements in the mirror.
After about 15 minutes he was getting nowhere with this bird so he
got really excited and started his favourite mimicry. This was a loud
Blue-Faced Honeyeater call, repeated over and over again. This did the
trick as he jumped onto the bird only to fall off the slippery plastic
covered mirror. He got such a fright he flew up a metre and back onto the
door to start all over again. After another 10 minutes he jumped on again
only to slip off & back onto the door on he went to try even harder at
seducing this difficult female.
I was busy in between all of this watching Common Bronzewing,
Squatter & Crested Pigeons drinking as well as my favourite Spinifex.
Seeing the poor bird suffer I thought I might as well spot some quail in the
Spinfex grass before dark so I got up & frightened his Lordship off. I did
find a covey of 5 Brown Quail (2 M & 3 F) and watched them feed up to me.
Then back to the car & believe it or not Mr Bowerbird was still displaying
in the half light before dark.
I had to get a wet rag & wipe off his calling cards, before calling
it a day.
PS. No Gouldian Finches this trip.
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Stan Emmerson <=
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