Satin bowerbird

Satin bowerbird
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus

Photo by Eric Tan (Feathers and Photos)

Common name:
satin bowerbird (en); jardineiro-acetinado (pt); jardinier satiné (fr); pergolero satinado (es); seidenlaubenvogel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Ptilonorhynchidae

This species is endemic to Australia, being found along most of the eastern and south-eastern coast.

These birds are 27-33 cm long and weigh 170-290 g.

The satin bowerbird is mostly found in rainforests and Eucalyptus forests, preferring forest edges and nearby woodlands with dense sapling understories. They also use pastures, rural gardens and urban areas.

They feed mainly on fruits, but also take flowers, leaves, herbs, nectar, seeds, and insects such as cicadas and beetles.

Satin bowerbirds breed in September-February. They are polygynous, with the males building an elaborate bower to attract females. This bower consists of two parallel walls of sticks, on the ground, and is decorated with bright blue coloured objects that it collects, such as blue parrot feathers, flowers, brown snail shells, blue clothes pegs, blue drinking straws and blue bottle tops. Beside the bower, the male performs a ritualised display of exaggerated movements. If impressed, the each female mates with the male, after which she leaves to nest by herself. She builds an open cup made of sticks and twigs, and lined with green and dry leaves, which is placed on a tree, scrub or vine, 2-40 m above the ground. There she lays 1-3 cream coloured eggs with brown streaks and blotches, which she incubates for 21-22 days. The chicks fledge 17-21 days after hatching, but remain with their mother for another 2 months. Females reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years of age, but male only reach sexual maturity at 7-8 years of age.

IUCN status –  LC (Least Concern)
This species ha a large breeding range and is reported to be locally fairly common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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