what type bower bird Townsville?

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Michelle
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what type bower bird Townsville?

Hi,

I have a bower bird just moved into the backyard, hoping someone can help me with what type he is...

I am halfway between Townsville and Ayr, a bit inland near the Mt Elliott National Park.

He's plain grey/brown/black, no pretty colours at all. He's just appeared, and has no twigs or grass, just a clear area of dirt under a bottle brush with various bits of plain rock and red plastic. I felt a bit sorry for him with such poor materials to work with so I left a few polished river stones and red beads lying around and he added them to his horde within minutes.

He's got 3 females hanging around. I guess he's doing something right! I'm a bit puzzled why he has no grass 'tunnel', is he just young and learning or do some types not build them?

Andy
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Hi Michelle,

Perhaps it's a Great Bowerbird? I think that sometimes they have a little subtle pale purple cresty-type thing on the back of their neck.

Not sure about the nesting habits.

Would love to hear an update if things progress.

Regards,
Andy.

Michelle
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Hi Andy,

I'll have a closer look this arv at his head and let you know. I've been trying to get close enough to take a picture but he's pretty touchy.

I've started a little list of the types of birds I see around home. I work in a conservation park so I've started one for work as well. Just this morning I had a pteradactle looking creature on a frangipanni tree just outside my window, turns out to be a Friarbird. I started feeling a bit jurassic park for a while there... :o)

Cheers,
M

joanneh
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sounds like a great bowerbird , i have two of them here in charters towers, throw out some bread greedy little fellows and he will more than likely fly in and sit still for you i know my two do

Michelle
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No sign of him yesterday. The bower seems a bit neglected and all of the nicer stones are gone. I think he's moved.

It's funny if he's taken his favourite stones with him! That seems a bit strange. I wonder if that's what they do if they relocate.

I'll keep an eye out for him and throw some bread out just in case he still around somewhere.

Michelle
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He's definitely still around. I have him on camera so I'll upload it if I can.

I think he must be a Great, but still can't see any purple bits on his head. He has redesigned his stage, taken out some of the red bits and replaced with green. He was dancing around a female with a blue spray can lid and then a green unripe orange about marble size. He was also fiddling around with the twigs on the lower part of the tree, but still no 'bower as such'.

ed
ed's picture

Hi Michelle
This taken a couple of years back
Great Bowerbird showing pink nape crest.This is normally only visible while bird is displaying.

Ed Townsville NQ

Michelle
Michelle's picture

I have had a chat to Prof. Endler here at JCU, he says what I have is a 'practice playground', and I am lucky to have seen it's first stage of construction. Apparently a snr male 'tutor' teaches the young males how to display their wares, at the same time he benefits because he gets the pick of the ornaments they find for the practice playground to take back to his own real bower. They don't build an actual grass bower at that practice playground. What I thought were females were actually juvenile males.

It's utterly fascinating. There won't be any chores being done around the house this weekend...I will be watching bird 'prep'!

Andy
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Oh wow Michelle that is amazing! Isn't it great to see things like that?

I was watching a doco recently. A segment about Satin Bowerbirds showed a male spending ages making and prettying his bower. Then when he went away to get some food, another male snuck into the bower and started destroying it, pulling twigs out and dropping them on the ground. The funny thing is that he kept looking around (I think)... sort of making sure the other male wouldn't come back and find him. Then the imposter stuffed his beak full of nice blue things in order to steal them for his own nest!

Would love to see photos of your bowerbirds.

Thanks for sharing,
Andy.

gez
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Checking my book I would say it is a Tooth-billed Catbird. They dont build stick or grass bowers but make a large oval clearing 1-3m wide,on the forest floor. They sweep it clean and decorate it with green leaves.

Happy birdwatching!

gez
gez's picture

More on the Tooth-billed Catbird aka Stage maker Bowerbird

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth-billed_Catbird

http://www.avianweb.com/toothbilledcatbirds.html

http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/tooth-billed-bowerbird-scenopoeetes-dentirostris/bower-tooth-billed-bowerbird-bower-extremely-

this last has a short video : )

The leaves are displayed with the greyer/silvery underside facing upward.

Happy birdwatching!

Michelle
Michelle's picture

Thanks Gez, those are great links. Thanks for taking the time to post them, appreciate it. I haven't seen them around for a couple of months now, we had flooding and it washed away what they left. I think it may be mating season now anyway. The boss will be too busy trying to impress back at his own bower.

I tried to upload the video but it was too big and it wasn't very clear, I was too far away and only have little basic camera. I will take some proper pics if/when they return as I have a tripod now and can set the camera up and use the remote.

I know where the main bower is now, neighbours two door down. I have been invited over to see it, apparently it's under a peppercorn tree (?) and take some pics. Everyone is saying it's pretty magnificent. They have also seen my missing red heart beads and the green river stones in it. Another neighbour has a basket of seashells on her table outside on the back patio and they have also been collected. She has seen him land and pick over the contents before taking off with what he fancies.

We had a BBQ amongst the neighbours recently and it turns out that everyone has had bits and pieces go missing, and now we know where it's all gone. Apparently white rocks make up the path and 'my' white pegs also feature. I never made the connection and thought the dogs or mower was getting them!

gez
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Great to get an update. Pity the bower was washed away. I hope they return so u can get some more good pics :P
Happy bird watching!

Happy birdwatching!

Michelle
Michelle's picture

I've got a couple of pics, not very good. Also have some very nice ones of a sacred kingfisher I looked after a few months ago. I went to flickr and photobucket to put them up but you have to join and give them your email - I don't want to end up with spam from them or anyone else. I get none at present and I want it to stay that way. Does anyone find they get spammed after doing this??

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