We found a Satin Bower Bird bower while camping in the Alpine National Park near Licola. The female was nesting high above our camp and we watched the male go about his business looking for blue things to decorate his bower. The only non-plastic items displayed were blue feathers. Away from human influence they might also include blue flowers, berries and snail shells. Clearly this fella likes plastic blue bottle tops, there were about 38 of them. There was also a peg, plastic twine, confectionary wrappers, a surprising amount of blue electrical tape, hay band, pen lids, a pencil, one straw, and a popped balloon. I wonder how much he steals from campers because the camp site was very clean. As fascinating as this is, bowerbirds have died from strangulation from bottle top rings. Companies have dealt with this by ensuring the ring stays on the bottle but the plastic is still infiltrating our bush land. I couldn’t find any information about what happens to the bower and the plastic after the courtship season is completed.
Aren’t these stunning creatures? Saw a few young ones at Walhalla a few weeks ago but no nests. I too wonder what they would have used pre plastic that was readily available. I presume in the natural order of things, items would have degenerated and decomposed back into the soil. Would be interesting to see if the nesting season has altered/extended with all the blue available all year round.
That’s a really good question, I didn’t think of that one! I might see if I can find out more when I find some spare time.
I have a bower in my back yard . I live on a couple of acres. The season does not extend. I have watched him move his bower a few times. One time he made a double bower. I have also tested him with different blues but he is very specific.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for answering that for us Susan.