What do spotted bowerbirds look like?
Both male and female spotted bowerbirds have a mottled brown appearance, with a bar of lilac on the back of their necks. The mottled plumage ranges from fawn-brown with dark spots on the neck, to dusky-brown or black with buff spots on the back and wings.
How do they decorate their bowers?
This intricate structure consists of twin parallel walls of finely interwoven dry stems, set in a foundation-mat of crossed sticks. It is located on the ground under shrubs, facing a north-south direction.
With his beak, the male dabs a red-brown mixture of saliva and grass juice on the inner walls. At each end of the bower, up to a metre of ground is cleared and decorated with neat piles of white and pale green objects. Bones, pebbles, snail shells, seeds, berries and even pieces of glass are used.
Where do they live?
In NSW, spotted bowerbirds are found in grassed woodlands on the western slopes and plains. They often live around homesteads, making their bowers in residents' gardens.
What happens during the breeding season?
During breeding and through the rest of the year, the male spends time tending, watching and 'singing' over his bower. Males mate with several females during the breeding season, and the females nest and rear the young on their own.
Page last updated: 15 April 2011