Re: birding-aus Satin Bower-birds and yellow rings

To: Ian Montgomery <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Satin Bower-birds and yellow rings
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 20:29:58 +1100

Ian Montgomery wrote:
> birding-aus
> >Satin Bowerbirds are also attracted to yellow objects, and I have
> been
> >wondering whether yellow rings could also be a problem. Does anyone
> have
> >any experience of this?
> Satin Bowerbirds are fussy when it comes to colours.  They seem to
> collect
> things which match the colours of the blue male and their choice of
> yellow
> is thought to match the bill colour which is pale greenish-yellow.
> The
> outer layers of onions are a common choice.  Happily, they don't seem
> attracted to the garishly meretricious yellow plastics that
> manufacturers
> use to seduce us with their offerings.
> Which begs the question about Regent and Golden Bowerbirds.  I haven't
> seen
> the bower of a Regent and the only Golden one I have seen was
> reasonably
> far from civilisation (outside Paluma near Townsville).  The only
> decorations there were lichens and the pale flowers of native orchids.
> Very tasteful, I though.
> Regards,  Ian
> ****************************************
> Dr Ian Montgomery, 
> Institute of Marine Ecology, A11, University of Sydney, NSW 2006.
> Phone: (+61-2) 9351 4786; Fax: (+61-2) 9351 6713; Home phone: (+61-2)
> 9818
> 4838.
> Pay us a visit at:
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Satin Bowerbirds in wild conditions use blue parrot feathers as
decoration - the bird we saw at Fraser NP (Vic) had also pinched the
blue plug from the handbasin at the shower-block. But the Satin BB in
Melbourne Zoo has to substitute blue drinking straws.
  We saw the bower of a Great Bowerbird at Echidna Chasm in the Bungle
Bungles (WA). It was a fine collection of white, grey and blackish
pebbles, plus a few bones. (Another elsewhere also had a bunch or two of
yellow-green berries). The bird must have looked very hard for its
preferred pebbles because the dominant colour of all local stones was
red or rust-brown. There were no non-natural objects in it.
  Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
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