Satin Bowerbird

The male Satin Bowerbird builds an archway of sticks and surrounds it with an array of blue objects
in the hope of impressing and seducing many females throughout the breeding season.

This the third bower that has been built in the garden over the past few years
and I think that when he dismantled his bower last year he must have hidden his
stash of blue treasures as he has acquired hundreds of objects this time in the course
of a few short days. He always has a few pieces of yellow - generally
the crest feathers of the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

If his preferred feathers are unavailable, he's quite happy to improvise.
I've seen lettuce leaves, yellow rhodendron flowers, hellebores -
and even my ear plugs, stolen from the steering wheel of the ride-on mower!

I love to see the changing backgrounds as the flowers add
a 'rebel element' to his palette.

The yellow acacia flowers are a wonderful complement to the blue.

I have wondered if their attraction to the colour blue is anything to do with
their own inky blue/black colouring, seen here clearly as he preens his
feathers after a late afternoon swim in the pond.

The eyes of both male and female are also a most extraordinary shade of blue.

I can't tell the difference between the females and immature males.
They both are a beautiful olive green, with barred chest and golden under their wings
which is noticeable in flight. The chest is creamy fawn with brown scalloped bars.

This enterprising young male endeavoured to establish a bower
on the south side of our house and I suspect most of his
collection was pinched from the main bower on the irrigation bed
not very far away.

He even managed to attract some females and practised his courting antics of
displaying treasures, dancing and tail shaking.

But his happiness was short lived when the alpha male decided to
retrieve his belongings!

The youngster demolished his own bower and contented himself
with a few visits to the boss bird's lair.

If the coast was clear he would take the chance to entice one of females
to his magnificent 'borrowed' premises.

I've never found a nest in the vicinity of the garden, but one mother brought her youngster
to visit outside the window one day.................

.............while she fed him/her with the purple (surely sour) fruit of
our ornamental grape vine!

I do hope these enchanting, (if extremely untidy) birds continue to
inhabit the Duckpond garden for many years to come.