What do regent bowerbirds look like?
The head, back and flight feathers of the male regent bowerbird are coloured in a rich golden-yellow, with the remainder of the bird being black with a purple sheen. Its forehead is sometimes tinted crimson, and it has bright yellow eyes.
The male moults into this plumage when he is four years old - until then, he resembles a female. The female is coloured in shades of dull brown, olive-brown, and yellow-brown on the upper parts of her body, and pale buff with brown mottling underneath.
How do they decorate their bowers?
The male's bower is a single avenue, usually hidden in a tangle of ferns and vines on the forest floor. He paints it yellow, using a mixture of saliva and the juice of crushed leaves. The avenue is decorated with snail shells, berries, pebbles and leaves, all of a red-black or yellow-brown colour. Although each bower is constructed and maintained by a dominant male, other males may visit and care for it.
Where do they live?
Regent bowerbirds are fruit eaters and live mainly in the upper levels of forest trees. They spend time on the ground only when bower-building, displaying and mating. Their range extends from the Eungella Range, inland from Mackay in Queensland, to the Illawarra escarpment near Wollongong.
What happens during the breeding season?
When courting, the male regent bowerbird fans his tail and spreads his wings. He sometimes beats his wings to display their brilliant colours while churring, chattering and wheezing.
Page last updated: 15 April 2011