bowerbird


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bowerbird,

common name for any of several species of birds of the family Ptilonorhynchidae, native to Australia and New Guinea, which build, for courtship display, a bower of sticks or grasses. Usually the males construct the bowers, some of which are large (up to 9 ft/275 cm high), while others are like small cabins or runways. The crestless gardener bowerbird, Amblyornis inornatus, makes a lawn around its bower. Colored stones, shells, feathers, flowers, and other bright objects, which are replaced when they become withered or worn, are used to decorate the lawns and the bowers. The satin bowerbird, Ptilonorhyncus violaceus, prefers blue decorative articles. The bower is constructed by the male in his effort to attract a female and probably has no other function than for the courtship performance. After mating has taken place in the bower, a nest is built by the female away from the bower, and there the clutch of two eggs is laid. The birds are crowlike and lack the showy plumage of the related bird of paradise. The bowers may be high pyramids, such as those built by the five species of maypole builder bowerbirds, or lower, more intricate, and painted with blue and green paints made of saliva and pigments, such as those built by the satin bowerbird and regent bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus). The great gray bowerbird (genus Chlamydera) of Australia is the largest member of the family, being 15 in. (37.5 cm) long. Bowerbirds do not have very pleasant calls, but they are good mimics; sometimes other species' songs are included in their repertoires. Bowerbirds are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Ptilonorhynchidae.

bowerbird

any of various songbirds of the family Ptilonorhynchidae, of Australia and New Guinea. The males build bower-like display grounds in the breeding season to attract the females
References in periodicals archive ?
Humans begin with a body and then, like the male bowerbirds of Australia, proceed to build an elaborate construct on and around that body.
The male satin bowerbird makes a bower with two parallel walls about four inches apart and with a platform at its north end, all decorated with pretty things like colored feathers, flowers, and snail shells.
The birds create a staged scene, only visible from the point of view of their female audience, by placing pebbles, bones, and shells around their courts in a very special way that can make objects (or a bowerbird male) appear larger or smaller than they really are.
The Aussie king parrot, then the crimson rosella again, and back to more lilts of the satin bowerbird.
As the cool rainforests contracted, so did the habitat of many species of birds, including the golden bowerbird, the fernwren and the mountain thornbill.
Geographic song variation and its consequences in the Golden Bowerbird.
When I had my first fawn-breasted bowerbird in my hand, it spewed out a series of 'recordings' as high in quality as the latest digital tape recording," says John Endler of the University of Exeter in England.
They also took the first pictures of a golden-fronted bowerbird displaying to females.
Interior decorator Linda Barker is obviously a Bowerbird.
In the sported bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) of Australia, males build two parallel walls of sticks that females can enter.
LINDA BARKER Home-builder Linda is just like nature's own interior designer, the bowerbird