bird's eye view of a bower

To: Birding Aus <>, <>
Subject: bird's eye view of a bower
From: "Arwen B. Ximenes" <>
Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2011 20:21:26 +1000

Plenty of action in my garden, no need to go anywhere. 

I try to do a couple of birdy-related things each season with my boys. I had 
planned to check out our local bower and put out some blue objects for our 
Satin Bowerbirds early in September and just hadn't got around to it until an 
immature bird started building it's bower literally under my nose, so I figure 
I've been reminded. Last year I hung short lengths of blue ribbon from a tree 
outside our living room window. 
Yesterday I noticed a couple of meters away there was a cleared space and a 
green bird fussing around there, so I threw it a blue peg. Retreating to my 
hide (the living room above) I watched as this immature bird picked up the peg 
and then seemed to discard it in a corner of the area. This morning the boys 
and I cut up a few pieces of blue felt and put them nearby. Promptly two pieces 
were incorporated into what I realised was the display area. I noticed there 
were lots of twigs on the ground that hadn't been there previously, but no 
bower building as yet. Interestingly there is a red object there too, which 
makes sense as apparently immatures are still learning to discriminate colours. 
There has been quite a lot of noise coming from that corner of the garden, I'm 
really curious to know whether he's going to attempt the actual entrance 
towers. One other observation was a mature male came and stole a twig from him, 
so I wonder if he's going to make off with our immature's blue
  things too. The boys are loving it, we've been making blue things to put out 
- blue fingerknitting, a blue felt bird, etc. Today there were three green 
birds, two of them displaying and competing for the bower - presumably one 
female and two immature males. And the blue peg was a hotly contested item, 
being taken by one bird over the fence and then eventually back to its original 
position. Lots of whistles and buzzes to entertain as well.
There, not so quiet at our end, Merrilyn!

Arwen Blackwood Ximenes

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