Bowerbird behaviour - Bunya Mountains QLD

To: <>
Subject: Bowerbird behaviour - Bunya Mountains QLD
From: "Lee & Margi" <>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 19:11:16 +1000
Hi all,

My wife & I recently had the pleasure of watching the antics of Satin
Bowerbirds on our trip to the Bunya Mountains (QLD).  


We arrived thinking we would have to 'search' for these birds but were
surprised to see so many of them flying around the housing estate and
rainforest.  There would have been 4-8 at any one time just in our yard
alone.  Their calls were amazing and seemed to come from any tree around.


After reading someone's post recently about how a bowerbird stole the lid
off a drinking bottle I went armed with a small mixture of shiny blue things
to see what (if any) reaction they got.  After seeing so many Bowerbirds
flying around our yard I just placed some items on the lawn and sat back
with my camera ready.  It only took about 5mins before the first young male
came down and took off with a few items (a blue money box that was cut into
strips).  Next a fully coloured male came down and left with a milk bottle


The next young male that came down took off into the garden with its find so
I followed it and discovered that it was building a bower next to a hedge
along the driveway.  I sat on the edge of the garden and watched as the
young bird picked up small straight sticks and carefully placed them along
the wall, he'd move a few around, step back and look at them, and swap some
with other sticks.  There was a small collection of blue things already in
place (various lids mainly) to which he had added my pen lids and money box
strips.  When placing some of the sticks he would rub his bill up and down
each one before putting them in place.


I left him alone for a bit and went to investigate a group of King Parrots
and Crimson Rosellas that had landed across the road.  When I returned a
fully coloured male was sitting next to a now destroyed bower, the younger
bird was still close by and when it flew down, the older bird took off with
a blue lid.  The male returned many times, each time leaving with a blue
item.  For the rest of the weekend the young bird would partially rebuild
its bower only to have it knocked down by other males (some developed, some
not).  It wasn't until we visited the nearby National Parks office and read
a research paper on Bowerbirds that we learnt that this was normal behaviour
for the birds.


The next day I saw a fully coloured male emerge from a garden across the
road where it proceeded to do a sideways 'crab walk' up and down the garden?
A courtship display I guess?.


Watching the behaviour of these birds was fascinating and one of my most
memorable birding experiences to date.


In addition to the Satin Bowerbirds, our yard was also visited by both male
and female Regent Bowerbirds, although they would just eat some berries off
the trees and leave.


Happy birding



Hervey Bay - QLD 



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