birding-aus Re: Satin Bowerbirds & plastic milk bottle rings

Subject: birding-aus Re: Satin Bowerbirds & plastic milk bottle rings
From: "Carol Probets" <>
Date: Sat, 06 Feb 1999 21:23:12 PST

Dear all,

It's a pity there isn't some way of tackling the problem at a national 
level, rather than lobbying every regional division of every 
manufacturer. I think public education is very important, and of course 
this applies to the whole hazardous rubbish problem.

I would like to mention a few more observations and thoughts on Satin 
Bowerbirds and their choice of decorations. I have seen bowers in remote 
parts of the Newnes Plateau which contained nothing but natural items: 
mainly blue tail and wing feathers from Crimson Rosellas, flowers and 
leaves. I reckon when our junk came along, the "lucky" bowerbirds living 
close to civilization must have thought all their Christmases had come 
at once, with a great selection of variously shaped and hued objects to 
choose from. And unlike flowers and berries, plastic doesn't wilt and 
fade and constantly need to be replaced. There are a few bowers close to 
picnic areas in the Blue Mountains which are a most impressive sea of 
blue. Probably hundreds of plastic objects there.

Regarding the choice of yellow. I agree that Satin Bowerbirds are fussy 
in their choice of colours and that they are particularly fond of pale 
greenish-yellow, as well as yellowish-brown. My own local bower contains 
onion skins, pieces of sponge and straw. However they are certainly not 
indifferent to bright yellow. I have often seen bowers containing bright 
yellow wattle and other flowers and yellow feathers (especially the 
crest feathers of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos). Hence my wondering about 
the yellow rings. Yet yellow plastic, from what I have seen, is used 
only rarely. I guess you're right Ian about the "garishly meretricious 
yellow plastics".

On last count, my local bower contained, among other things, 12 blue 
milk bottle rings (fortunately all broken), many blue straws and pens, a 
few purple objects and interestingly, one green drinking straw which was 
relegated to the perimeter of the bower, but nevertheless part of it.

Regards, Carol

Carol Probets
Katoomba NSW

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