Showing posts with label bower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bower. Show all posts

Magic of the Bowerbird

The bower bird is seen as a very common bird in Australia. However, in many ways it is special, particularly the satin bowerbird. The males of this species has dazzlingly bright blue eyes. This contrasts with the dark black body which has a sheen.
Male bowerbird with female at bower
They are very intelligent and have a complex courting ritual. The color blue controls their life. The male builds an archway comprising two pillars out of twigs, fruit, feathers and flora on the ground. It is decorated by sticking bright objects onto it with saliva, even things made by humans.

When a female is within range the male struts his stuff, offering her all sorts of pretty trinkets that he has gathered. He makes chattering and hissing sounds while she examines his "things". If she likes what he displays mating will take place in the bower.

The male is so obsessed with bower making that the female has to build the nest on her own. After laying precisely three eggs she will raise the young alone.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia

Male Bowerbird Grows Tomatoes

The bowerbird is unusual to say the least.  A fancy structure is built by the male to attract females.  It is an arch of still growing undergrowth with a walk through from one side to the other.  In the middle and to one side is a collection of leaves, fruit, shells, dead insects and odd glistening objects manufactured by humans.

When a female is in range the male "screeches" at the female to make her look at his handiwork. Males often wave fruit at females.  The male stays in the area of the bower for up to ten years so he has an investment in that location.  Researchers have found that males do not just pick up fruit laying around.  The spotted bowerbird actually grows his own fruit.

As the male tends to his "plot" he throws out dried fruit of the bush tomato and clears the ground, thus leaving healthy seeds to sprout and grow into bushes.  The area around the bower is full of bushes in fruit with tomatoes.  This symbiosis is part of the bowerbird mating game.
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