Great Bowerbird of Kakadu National Park

on 29th September 2009

Debby Ng returned from a birding tour of the Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory with images of the Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) (left) and it’s bower (below). The photographs were taken in the Mary River area in the south.

According to Debby, “The bird’s bower had a display of bleached land snail shells, broken green bottle glass, and wrappers of aluminum foil. The brid’s nest is a cup in a tree and the bower is used only for courtship purposes. The male was very nervous as we approached the bower, so we backed away and shot the bower from afar instead. There were two bowers at the site and several bower birds in that particular vicinity but we only observed one bird go towards its nest to make the ‘arrangements.’”

According to Goodfellow (2005), it is the male that builds the elaborate arched bower. Broken glass and white stones, often broken quartz, are used to decorate the ground around. When a female approaches, “the male parades and dances with lowered wings and raised tail, shaking the mauve crest and opening his mouth to reveal the yellow lining.” Once mating is completed, the female leaves to build her bowl-shaped nest of twigs lodged in a fork of a far-off woody shrub.

Goodfellow, D. L. & M. Scott, 2005. Birds of Australia’s top end. Reed New Holland, Sydney. 159 pp.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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