He"ll kill for blue

To: <>
Subject: He"ll kill for blue
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 11:23:40 +1000
My thanks to you good folk of birding-aus for reducing my ignorance about
Satin Bowerbirds.   Looks like the basis for the suggestion that a male S Bb
would kill a bird to get its blue feathers is a possible happening in an
aviary situation.  And atypical behaviour is common with birds in captivity:
parrots, budgies etc., mimicking, which they don't do in the wild; a
lyrebird copying flute sounds; lyrebirds even mimicking mechanical sounds of
human origin like a camera shutter or mechanical film winding.

Having been reminded of it, I do now remember from childhood days (1930s)
seeing blue flowers of wild tobacco in a bower.

And yes, S Bbs do also collect things of yellow/straw colour.  Not all
natural either:

Alec Chisholm was a very close friend of my mother.  In the latter part of
his life he lived in Sydney.  Being a noted ornithologist he was often asked
to guide bird watchers on visits to Royal National Park.   And the park was
used for other purposes than bird-watching it seems.  He told me that if he
were taking people to see a Satin Bowerbird's bower and there were ladies in
the party, when they got close to the bower he would ask them  to wait while
he approached the bower alone.

"You see, the bird may be in his bower, and take fright at a group of
people," he would explain.  "I don't want him to get upset.  I'll walk
slowly up to the bower, and if he's there he'll move away without any
distress, and then you can all come and see the bower."

What he was really doing he explained to me, was to check for, and remove
any used condoms that the bird had the habit of collecting as yellowish



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