There are probably a few people right now facing the dilemma of what gift they should buy to impress a female friend! In the north of Australia right now the Great Bowerbirds are also trying to impress some members of the other sex, but rather than venture near any shops they are busy thieving! This particular bower that we visited this week was constructed following our last Wet Season and has grown substantially over recent months. The male Great Bowerbirds try and collect as many impressive items as possible to lure a female bird into the area and subsequently mate with her. This is not a nest area, but a courtship area and they really do “aim to please”! The duller Bowerbirds in the Bowerbird family produce much more elaborate bowers and the Great Bowerbird is rather dull compared to some of the more colourful Bowerbirds in Papua New Guinea.
I am not sure if I can give you much inspiration for what gifts you should be buying for your female friends, but you will see that this male Great Bowerbird must visit houses and the beach close by. There is an obvious attraction to white coral, green glass beads, plastic bottle tops, bones, screws, nails and anything not bolted down! It is surprising that some items are quite large and heavy, but in the pursuit of finding a mate the Great Bowerbird will carry a variety of objects some distance to improve the chance of it finding a mate.
Front of bower
Inside the bower
We are expecting some torrential rain and a possible cyclone over the coming weeks and months and the bower has now got thicker walls and there have been sticks added across the roof. It will be replaced anyway once the Wet Season is over, but it makes sense to make it as sturdy as possible. The new bower will only be a few metres away from this one once it is reconstructed and so we can watch the progress next year when it moves the “gifts” across to the new location.
We would like to wish everybody across the world all the best for the festive season and the upcoming New Year and that you are able to choose a gift to impress any female friends!