Satin Bowerbirds - Yellow and Blue Objects

To: 'Canberra Ornithologists Group' <>
Subject: Satin Bowerbirds - Yellow and Blue Objects
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2018 01:06:04 +0000

Seems clear to me. Go for a walk around and you find those Sulphur-crested Cockatoo crest feathers on the ground. The moulted white feathers are so obvious at cockatoo roosts, as a first way point in the search of finding the crest feathers among them, These birds are clearly observant. These feathers are easier to find than the average run of the mill feathers of other birds. Besides they move around, steal and reuse these feathers, so they may last a long time.


From: Jack & Andrea Holland [
Sent: Wednesday, 1 August, 2018 8:17 AM
To: Richard Lane; Canberra Ornithologists Group
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Satin Bowerbirds - Yellow and Blue Objects


Hello Richard,  about 15 years ago I published on the Satin Bowerbird also liking yellow objects in addition to the traditional blue ones [see p90 of my article in CBN 28, pp87-95 (2003)].  While I have since seen further examples of this, I can’t recall them actually being used while the bowerbird was performing as opposed to decorations around the bower, often leaves or straws at the front, but also Sulphur-crested Cockatoo crest feathers (as in Geoffrey’s photo).  As I noted in my article how they manage to collect so many of these feathers is unclear.


Jack Holland


From: Richard Lane

Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 7:12 PM

To: Canberra Ornithologists Group

Subject: [canberrabirds] Satin Bowerbirds - Yellow and Blue Objects


Seeing this, I was reminded that all of the male Satin Bowerbirds that I have seen performing (which is not a statistically significant number but photographs illustrating this can be supplied upon request) have been carrying both a yellow object and a blue object with their beak. Why is their penchant for blue objects always noted in the literature, whilst I have not read anywhere about the yellow objects that they present to females ?



... Richard Lane



On Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 5:46 PM, Geoffrey Dabb <> wrote:



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