Whenever you come across a Great Bowerbirds bower it is interesting to see what has been placed in the bower to attract a female bird and the variety of bones, stones and other items never ceases to amuse and amaze. Several male Great Bowerbirds will contribute to the construction of the bower and work together to attract a female and the addition and arrangement of the items is constantly evolving. It is not uncommon to observe the Great Bowerbirds at the bower, but rarely do you get the opportunity to observe them displaying their bright pink feathers on the back of their heads to attract the female and photograph the action as well. On our recent trip across the north of Australia we stopped briefly at Big Horse Creek to enjoy the Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens and check on the bower next to the road towards the Victoria River access ramp. We were very lucky to encounter a Great Bowerbird arranging the items in the bower and displaying very well to attract a female bird.

Great Bowerbird displaying

Although the female Great Bowerbird also has the pink display feathers the crest is greatly reduced and nowhere near as impressive as the male Great Bowerbird when it is really trying its best to appear attractive. Considering most of the time the Great Bowerbird can appear to be quite a large, dull grey bird it is interesting how different it can appear when it is trying to attract a mate! All of these photos were taken while the Great Bowerbird was bouncing around screeching out trying to attract surrounding females, but the Great Bowerbird is rarely a quiet bird!

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Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!