Why Bowerbirds?


Bowerbirds raise more questions than answers. Bowers are stick structures built by the bowerbird then decorated with fresh flowers and blue collectables. I wonder about their evolution - survival of the best designer? The males are fiercely competitive stealing, spying and sabotaging each others bowers.

I watched this Satin Bowerbird, as painted here, spend hours each day collecting and rearranging his blue items to lure the discriminating female to his bower. I noticed filtered light from the forest would hit his bower just so and illuminate his feathers and blue treasures. He would call, dance and display his finds in his beak.

It all seemed so intentional, the placement of his bower the constant rearranging of his treasures. Was light and time of day a consideration? Was the design for an arial perspective? Why the blue ring in his beak when he danced? How many bowers will a female visit before choosing her mate? What is she looking for in the design? Scientists have been studying the bowerbird for decades with many interesting theories but still so many questions...

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