Satin Bowerbird observations and pictures

To: "" <>
Subject: Satin Bowerbird observations and pictures
From: Bill Roberts <>
Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2019 01:08:14 +0000
Well, the bird answered my main question by constructing two bower walls in about two days after my original post to this list.  I've added a photo (taken on Monday 2nd Sep) of the bower to the album for those who might be interested.

I also heard from someone who has studied Satin Bowerbirds and it seems that the size/thickness of the platform is probably not that unusual.

My suspicion is that this is a new blue male and he's doing things a bit differently to the previous male as well as building on the old foundations.  His display call seems different (I haven't heard him mimic a Kookaburra as in previous years) and he seems a lot less shy of me and possibly slightly smaller.


On Sun, 1 Sep 2019 at 16:26, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

I have not seen or heard of the mound as you describe it and what I believe is the bottom photo. I suggest keep a record of this and especially if something more happens then write it up properly for the historical record, maybe in Canberra Bird Notes.




From: Bill Roberts [
Sent: Saturday, 31 August, 2019 6:16 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Satin Bowerbird observations and pictures


We have been fortunate enough to have a group of bowerbirds in our back garden since at least 2011.  During that time there has always been a bower and the birds spend a lot of time maintaining it as well as performing their displays. 


A few months ago the bower was destroyed and its large collection of blue items taken away.  I was worried that we'd lost "our" bowerbirds but some birds have returned including a mature male in full blue-black colouring and at least two birds in green.


These birds have not built a bower (yet) but the male has built an impressive mound of sticks.  Many of the sticks are from the old bower and platform but he has been very busy adding short sticks and has built the mound to a height of about 20cm.  This seems unusual to me and I can't find any reference to these birds building mounds in my (admittedly limited) bird books or on the internet.


I've put some photos in an album here:


The photos go back to 2011 when I first became aware of the birds - there are two movies of their activities from that time.  The later photos show the bower, the impressive collection of blue pegs and also the way the birds decorate the inside of the bower by chewing up my vegetable seedlings!  The most recent photos show the stick mound.


It could be that the mound is a first step to building a new bower but I'd be interested to know if anybody else has seen this behaviour.





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