The Bowerbird

The Satin Bowerbird

The male Bowerbird builds a bower to attract mates. The bowers vary, depending on the species, but some make a highly complex structure of sticks and leaves  – shaped like a walkway – around which  the bird places a variety of objects he has collected.

These objects, usually of a hue to which the male in question is particularly attracted, may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, and even discarded plastic items or pieces of glass.

The bird spends hours carefully sorting and arranging his collection, with each object in a specific place; if an object is moved while the bowerbird is away he will put it back in its place. 

No two bowers are the same, and the collection of objects reflects the personal taste of each bird and its ability to procure unusual and rare items (going as far as stealing them from neighbouring bowers). 

At mating time, the female will go from bower to bower, watching the male owner and inspecting the quality of the bower. Many females end up selecting the same male, and many under-performing males are left without mates.

Building the Bower