Toothbilled catbird bower behaviour

Subject: Toothbilled catbird bower behaviour
From: "Andrew Noosa" <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 10:26:41 +1000
Hi all
Adrian Walker has just returned from a stint in FNQ and has asked me to post this very intriguing observation for comment: "Earlier this month at Possum Valley Cabins situated at 1100 metres near Ravenshoe, I inspected 5 separate bowers of Toothbilled catbirds (males all actively vocal, making the bowers easy to find) and was intrigued to note that in each bower sat a collection of small pebbles gathered from road base on the access road to the cabins. We determined the material collected was rhyolite from a local quarry which had been laid 12 years ago. At one bower the number of stones was in excess of 400, all arranged in a lozenge shaped formation at the head/foot of the bower, and slightly raised. Have other bower bird watchers noted this phenomenon or are the Possum Valley males unique in this recently acquired habit? For any birders intending to verify or inspect the Toothbill stone collecting behaviour, Possum Valley is well worth a visit. Although I didn't see Blue-faced parrot finches there, the habitat is excellent and the birds very likely to be there. Certainly large numbers of Red-browed firetails were present indicating available seed which certainly wasn't the case on Mt Lewis. Other bowerbirds are easily seen there, with my 3 days revealing Satin and Golden in addition to the 2 catbirds. Grey goshawk seems common enough, Cassowary is present, Bower's shrike-thrush was evident throughout the forest as were Grey-headed robins and all the upland honeyeaters including Macleays in abundance. Of particular interest were the Orange-footed scrubfowl, normally a more common species at lower altitudes, but everywhere at Possum Valley. The cabins are cosy and well-priced and thus the place is highly recommended for any visiting birders". Please note - neither Adrian or myself have any commercial interest in Possum Valley Cabins (although we'd certainly like to!).

Hot chart ringtones and polyphonics. Go to

Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Toothbilled catbird bower behaviour, Andrew Noosa <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU