Regent Bowerbird bower, courtship display and copulation today at D'agui

To: "" <>, Graeme Chapman <>, Marie Tarrant <>
Subject: Regent Bowerbird bower, courtship display and copulation today at D'aguilar NP SEQ, (Mt Mee section).
From: Marie Tarrant <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:42:16 +1000
I was lucky to come upon a Regent Bowerbird bower this morning while in the
D'aguilar NP (Mt Mee section).  I have hoped to find one for years now and
this morning it took some time to register that I'd actually happened upon
one.  While on the path I heard some scuffling in the understorey and
thought it was, most likely, a thrush so was surprised to see a male Regent
Bowerbird acting in a strange manner under the shrub.  The light conditions
and mass of shrubbery made it difficult to get a photograph of the bird but
when I realised it seemed to be attending to a bower I was really
thrilled.  I watched it pick up various objects and it appeared to be
waving the objects about and placing them back on the 'pretty ordinary and
insignificant' bower.  It was making some bizarre movements also that
confused me. This went on for minutes and so I knew it wasn't about to fly
off if I moved so I did move a little in order to get a better vantage for
photography.  Imagine my shock when I realised on moving that the bowerbird
was actually showing off to a female on the other end of the bower.   The
female's posture was close to the ground and still but she managed to
convey an excited anticipation by a gentle flutter of her wings while
crouched there.   My first reaction was that it was an adult feeding a
youngster although that just didn't mesh somehow with the behaviour and
then it 'did the deed' before my eyes (it was very fast and almost over
before I registered it had just happened) and then the penny dropped and I
realised what I was witnessing.

I managed to get a series of very poor shots as the whole thing took a good
10-15 minutes from start to finish, but, the light conditions were poor and
a clear view of the proceedings was made almost impossible by the tangle of
shrubbery around the bower.

When I got home and researched a little more I realised just how lucky I

Mating-Behavior and Sexual Competition in the Regent Bowerbird *Sericulus
N Lenz

*Emu* 94(4) 263 - 272
Published: 1994*  Abstract*
Male Regent Bowerbirds *Sericulus chrysocephalus* build small, meagrely
decorated avenue bowers for courtship displays and copulation. In order to
study the social behaviour of males and females at bowers, in particular
the patterns of female visits and male interactions, bower activities were
monitored for 1516 hours at 33 active bowers in the Sarabah Range,
south-eastern Queensland.
*Adult males spent only 3.2% of daylight hours in bower attendance.*
and in referencing Graeme Chapman's informative and really superb website I
also learned:

* 'Finding bowers is another matter. Unlike the other bowerbirds in
Australia, males only maintain their bowers for a short period of two to
three weeks during the mating season. They are well hidden under
overhanging foliage and the best clue to their whereabouts is to hear the
very distinctive buzzing call the males give when at the bower'.*

Marie Tarrant
Kobble Creek,  Qld
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