Satin Bowerbird Mimicry

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Satin Bowerbird Mimicry
From: "Kurtis Lindsay" <>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 15:55:02 +1000
Hi all,

I have been watching a juvenile Satin Bowerbird which has been sitting in a 
eucalypt in my backyard for the past twenty minutes.
The interesting thing about this bowerbird is, despite uttering the usual satin 
bowerbird calls (the odd 'mechanical' buzzing, chattering and scolding) it is 
mimicing the calls of one other bird, the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo.
YTBC's aren't very common around my place, but bowerbirds are. The thing I find 
unusual though is how this bird is only mimicing one other species (it is doing 
a pretty good job of it too).
The rendition involves the complete 'advertising call' of the Yellow-tailed 
Black Cockatoo (the call they use in flight - "wheeeeeelya"), along with the 
softer calls YTBC's use while feeding, and I'm pretty sure I can even hear an 
imitation of the 'cracking' sounds YTBC's make when they're feeding on Banksia 
pods or Pine Cones.

Perhaps this young Bowerbird is having identity issues and is striving to 
become a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo! :)

Just then a group of Noisy Miners flew in to mob the imposter and drive it 
away. They failed!


Kurtis Lindsay

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