Bower at Hughes

To: "David Rosalky" <>, "Bird List" <>
Subject: Bower at Hughes
From: "Andrea S Holland" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 18:17:58 +1000
David - I assume you are referring to the bower in Downes Place?  I believe this usually has a lot of yellow Sulphur Crested Cockatoo crest feathers at one end - I've seen or heard about this from other local bowers.  SBB often use light yellow leaves as well for decorations.
It is likely that the green birds, or at least some of them, were young males.  These don't acquire their adult plumage until about 7 years.  The easiest way to tell them (4+ years) is by their very light bills, about the same colour as the mature male, compared with the darker bills of females and younger birds.  I agree they were likely trying to take bower material or destroy the bower.  They are known to learn to build bowers by watching other males and while they do build practice bowers (often very rough untidy structures) this particular bower is very likely the main one in the area.  Stealing from or destroying bowers is a regular pursuit for the SBB.  Bowers can be rebuilt very quickly.
Your observation of a male just starting to moult into mature plumage is a very interesting one.  My previous observations have been that this happens locally during Feb/March [see CBN 29(1) p 33 (2004)], but I've heard about this also happening over the past couple of months, something I still need to chase up.  It's well worth keeping an eye on this bower to see if it's happening over a similar time frame as published.
Jack Holland
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