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 ?
Then he begins a series of flawless imitations of many of the other birds that share his home--satin bowerbirds, rosella parrots, yellow honeyeaters, kookaburras.
Bowerbirds can mimic the calls of other birds, as well as other animal sounds and human voices, but little is known about why they do it, and how they learn and expand their repertoire.
This web protects it, just like the snail's shell, and provides it a livelihood, just like the spider's web, and advances its prospects for sex, just like the bowerbird's bower.
The number who did not answer the question on whether the species was known to them was highest for the eclectus parrot (2.5%), followed by the golden-shouldered parrot and the golden bowerbird (2%).
This is the practice of some animals, most notably the male bowerbird of Australia, to create decorative displays which females evaluate in order to choose reproductive partners.
WHEN THE MALE spotted bowerbird wants to impress a potential mate, he offers her a collection of white objects--bones, pebbles, bits of plastic--in a specially constructed bower of grass and twigs.
Beehler and his team identified a number of plants and animals new to science during a December 2005 expedition to the isolated Foja Mountains, and also studied rare but documented species already known to local guides, including the Golden-fronted Bowerbird and Berlepsch's Six-wired Bird of Paradise.
The discovery comes 25 years after the US geographer Jared Diamond (who is featured on page 62 of this issue) startled the scientific world with his discovery in the same mountain range of the forest habitat of the golden-fronted bowerbird.
They include the golden-mantle tree kangaroo, the long-beaked echidna and a golden-fronted bowerbird.
A new species of Smokey honeyeater is pictured right, and below, a Golden-fronted bowerbird.
* A male bowerbird can determine a female bird's level of interest by studying her posture: If a female bowerbird is interested in the n]ale, she will "crouch" or lower her body.
(They have grown up together.) Arrive at the photo of a bowerbird decorating its nest with various odds and ends--all blue--and who wouldn't want to know more?