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Satin Bowerbird

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents Australia's satin bowerbird.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents Australia's satin bowerbird. Then male is a blackish looking bird with bright purple eyes, whose plumage diffracts the light to produce an indigo sheen with a metallic lustre. He builds a U-shaped bower of sticks on the forest floor into which he hopes to lure a female. But brown twigs on a brown woodland floor aren't very eye-catching, so he jazzes up the scene with an array of objects from berries and bottle-tops to clothes-pegs and even ballpoint pens. All have one thing in common: they are blue. The male dances around his bower to attract the greenish females: often holding something blue to impress her. As he poses, he calls enticingly to advertise his prowess. Once she's made her choice, she will leave to build her nest and rear her young alone.

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2 minutes


Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

Webpage image courtesy of David Tipling /

NPL Ref 01423848 © David Tipling /

Recording of satin bowerbird by Mary Katz / Ref: ML 46836

This programme contains a wildtrack recording of a satin bowerbird kindly provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; recorded by Mary Katz on 18 Oct 1988, in Washpool National Park, New South Wales, Australia.


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