The scientific name of Bowerbirds is Ptilonorhynchidae. They are very known in bird lovers for their unique nesting behavior. There are almost 20 species of bowerbirds discovered till now.
In this article, we will be discussing various species of Bowerbirds and how they mate, where do they live, and more.
What will I learn?
- 1 18 Bowerbirds Facts – Types, Species, Mating & More
- 1.1 1. Identifications Of Bowerbird:
- 1.2 2. Diet Of Bowerbirds:
- 1.3 3. Habitat Of Bowerbirds:
- 1.4 4. Mating Of Bowerbirds:
- 1.5 5. Nesting Of Bowerbirds:
- 1.6 6. The Lifespan Of Bowers And Bowerbirds:
- 1.7 7. Why Do Bowerbirds Create Bowers?
- 1.8 8. Decoration of bowers:
- 1.9 9. Defense of Bowers:
- 1.10 10. Threats To The Survival:
- 2 8 Most Common Types Of Bowerbirds
- 3 Conclusion:
18 Bowerbirds Facts – Types, Species, Mating & More
If you want to know the interesting information about Bowerbirds. If you want to know why and how they build their bowers. Here we are revealing the facts of Bowerbirds from Ptilonorhynchidae family.
1. Identifications Of Bowerbird:
Bowerbirds are bright in color. Their patterns vary from species to species. There is an exciting variation in their plumage patterns.
Bowerbirds have a variety of colors, including orange, red, black, and yellow. Green, grey, white, and olive-brown are also common.
Some species have a tassel of extended feathers and sometimes a ruff hanging over their back. Bowerbird females tend to have more vibrant feathers than males.
2. Diet Of Bowerbirds:
A male bowerbird takes his energy from high energy sourced fruits. Because he invests lots of his power in building up the bower.
The main reason for the fruits’ diet is that fruits are abundant throughout the year.
In Summer, a major part of their diet consists of large insects. Rarely they use to eat seeds and leaves.
Bowerbirds are also predators for Red Fox and Feral Cats.
See Also: What Do Baby Cardinals Eat.
3. Habitat Of Bowerbirds:
Bowerbirds have their home in Australia and New Guinea and the surrounding Islands. Their ten species found to be in Papua New Guinea, and eight species belong to Australia.
Bowerbirds have their habitat in the rainforest, including tropical, temperature, and montane rainforests.
They also inhabit eucalyptus, shrublands, acacia forests, riverine, and savanna woodlands.
Though these birds are living in Australia and New Guinea. They also extend to the central, western, and south-eastern Australia.
Most species of bowerbirds inhabit wet forests 4000 m above the sea level. And some of their species are local i.e., and these are inhabiting only their region.
For example, Adalbert bowerbird, which inhabits only the Adalbert Mountains of New Guinea.
But several species are living in a wide range. For example, New Guinea’s Flame bowerbird and Australia’s Great bowerbirds.
Bowerbird species that have small distributions are more vulnerable to lose their habitat.
While the species with a restricted highland range are susceptible to global warming. It might result in the reduction of habitat availability.
4. Mating Of Bowerbirds:
Bowerbirds have unusual courtship and mating behavior. Male bowerbirds perform involved courtship displays in attracting a female.
The male adjusts his performance according to the success and female response. The male bowerbirds also sing and dances along the ground, looking for a female to accept him.
On the other side, the female visits many bowers to select her desired partner. They watch males elaborating courtship displays.
They also check the quality of the bower. Several females revisit the bowers returning to the ones they had visited before.
Many females select the same male, and many under-performing males stay alone. Except for the Catbird, bowerbirds are polyamorous. It means that several females mate with one male.
Mating occurs inside the bower and lasts for only a few seconds. Males and females have no further contact, and female usually leave the bower.
The male has no role in raising the young one. And female handles it.
After leaving the bower of males, The female builds a cup-shaped nest. She makes the nest alone in a higher tree hole or a bush. Then she incubates and feeds the young.
5. Nesting Of Bowerbirds:
The female bowerbird lays a clutch of 1 to 3 eggs. She incubates the eggs for 12-15 days, depending on the type of specie.
The eggs have marks on them of different colors. There are lines of brown, black, and purple, and they look as if an artist has thrown ink on them.
The hatching takes place in about three weeks. And the mother bowerbirds are alone responsible for nesting.
The mother bowerbirds feed her offspring and care for them for two to three months. After two months, the young ones go on their own, leaving their mother’s nest.
There is a difference in green catbirds, white-eared, and black-eared bowerbirds. They do help in feeding the young ones.
Some species of bowerbirds do excellent mimicry. They have a wide range of vocalizations. Some of them utter loud and harsh notes, hiss, cackle, and chatter.
They mimic other bird’s calls, human-made noises. And they also copy sounds from their environment like waterfalls sound. Both males and females tend to imitate the sound of predatory birds.
The male vocalizes these sounds at his bower. The female bird performs the calls at her nest if she feels threatened.
6. The Lifespan Of Bowers And Bowerbirds:
The life span of bowerbirds depends upon the types of species. The shortest lifespan of bowerbirds is six years, and the longest is 30 Years.
Some of the bowers can last up to 30 years created by male satin bowerbirds. Also, the males and females of this species live for more than 20 years.
See Also: 20 Most Amazing Hummingbirds Facts
7. Why Do Bowerbirds Create Bowers?
Male bowerbirds build their bowers in a week to two months, depending on the amount of work done.
If a male is renovating an existing structure, then it might take less time. But it would take a longer time to build a brand new bower.
Male bowerbirds create bowers that they display for the mating ritual. These bowers can vary in composition according to different species. There is also a variation due to the available resources of males.
There are three types of bower architecture. An area that includes “doomed tunnel of sticks”. It has paint on it with vegetable juices and is wide enough that a bowerbird can pass through it.
The second type consists of a “display court” in which the bird lays big leaves and its tiled with rocks.
The third type includes a “maypole” which uses a sapling as a central tower and its many feet tall. There is vegetation packed around and its sometimes with or without the roof.
8. Decoration of bowers:
The male decorates the bower after finishing it. He paints it using anything he can find like pebbles, seeds, ferns, lichens, leaves, bones, and things discarded by humans.
Even they use aluminum foil, cloth, pieces of glass, and plastic for decoration. Different species use different colours in decoration.
For example, the Fawn-breasted bowerbird uses green colour most of the time in his bower. And the striped-gardener bowerbird prefers red, blue, and yellow-coloured objects in decoration.
Some bowerbirds also paint the walls of bowers using charcoal dust and saliva. Fruits and vegetable colours are also used in this perspective. They use their beak as the pain-brush.
9. Defense of Bowers:
Males build the masterpiece, and they keep on defending their bower. And when they are not inside the bower, they tend to perch a few feet above the bower.
They try to keep looking for an interested female or a male who may try to destroy his bower.
If the bower gets the attraction of female due to the architecture, she will visit the bower.
The male may entertain her with a song or dance, and then she will decide if he is worthy or not.
10. Threats To The Survival:
Bowerbirds are stable in number, but several reasons are leading to their decline.
The primary reason is predation and their habitats are also reducing due to agricultural changes and grazing.
The spotted bowerbird is declining in Victoria. It’s because of predation and loss of habitat.
In the vineyards and orchards area, the farmers shot down the bowerbirds because they are feeding on the fruits.
Since the farmers kill them against the law, the legislation is protecting them. Their natural habitats are also protected. Also, the increase in public awareness is contributing to their stability.
8 Most Common Types Of Bowerbirds
Though there are several species of bowerbirds, we are discussing the most eminent kinds of bowerbirds.
1. Satin Bowerbirds:
Satin bowerbirds paint their bowers from inside with colors extracted from plant juices.
They love the color blue, and so the blue color attracts them the most. Satin bowerbirds prefer to live in humidity.
Male satin bowerbird spends most of his life protecting his bower.
2. Great Bowerbirds:
Great bowerbirds are fond of white and orange colors. And they place colorful objects at the end of their bowers to attract females.
Great bowerbirds live in dry rain-shadow west of the Atherton tablelands.
3. Golden Bowerbirds:
Northeast Asia is home to Golden bowerbirds who have exciting, beautiful plumage.
The males of Golden bowerbird builds “double maypole” to attract the females.
They spent a large part of the year in creating and renovating their bowers.
4. Western Bowerbird:
Western bowerbirds found to be living in the hot, dry “red center” of Australia.
This kind of bowerbirds builds “avenue” bowers. It usually has a lilac-colored nuchal crest.
5. Vogelkop Bowerbird:
Volgelkop bowerbird lives on the Arfak Mountains of Western New Guinea. They have a plain plumage.
These bowerbirds build and decorate the greatest bowers.
Male of these bowerbirds spend 9-10 months of the year working on their bowers. So that they can attract a female to mate.
6. Flame Bowerbird:
The flame bowerbird lives in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea. It’s said to be the brightest colored bowerbird.
The male has an exquisite color plumage. It’s a medium-sized bird, and it builds an “avenue type” of bower having two side walls made of sticks.
7. Tooth-billed Bowerbird:
Tooth-billed bowerbird is one of the eight species found in Australia. Its name because of the white inside of its lower jaw, which is visible when the male sings.
Its color is olive-brown from top and white to pale fawn having brown streaks underneath.
Catbirds live inside the dark, humid forests. From lowland jungle to the montane cloud forest.
The ten catbirds of this genus are monogamous, i.e. they do not build bowers.
There are only three traditional species. Green Catbird (called Black-eared Catbird before) living in Eastern Australia.
White-eared Catbird of montane New Guinea. Then there is Tooth-billed Catbird which is a fruit eater.
Catbird lives in the upland rainforest of NE Australia.
Most of the Bowerbirds are mates for life. They sing and dance to attract females.
There are three main types of bowers are discussed according to their architecture.
It is becoming very difficult for bowerbirds to survive due to their predation. Even it is illegal to kill a bowerbird but farmers keep hunting bowerbirds. This is a very alarming situation in order to secure this species.
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