Regent Bowerbird

Did you know?

The male Regent Bowerbird's plumage can take from two to five years to develop to full maturity.

Low chattering, wheezy calls. ventriloquial mimicry.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Maximum Size: 
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Breeding season: 
September to March
Clutch Size: 
1 or 2
25 days
Nestling Period: 
22 days
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Regent Bowerbird is a small, slim bowerbird with a long, straight slender bill. The male bird is glossy jet black with bright gold on its head, nape and wings. The male's bill and eye are yellow. The female is brown-black, mottled brown, with light brown scallops on its back and breast. There are dark patches on the back of its head and on the lower nape. The female's bill is dark brown to black and the eyes are yellowish-brown. The immature male is similar to the female on its underparts and to the male on its upper parts i.e. head back and wings (except the primary feathers which are brown). The male's tail is shorter than that of the female or immature birds. Male Regent Bowerbirds' eyes become yellow in the second year.

Similar species: 

The black and gold of the male Regent Bowerbird is unmistakeable. The dark patch on the head of the female and immature, and the scalloped pattern of the breast, help to distinguish them from the female or juvenile FigbirdSphecotheres viridis. The Regent Bowerbird is slightly smaller and more slender than the Satin BowerbirdPtilonorhyncus violaceus, which has a blue eye.

Where does it live?

The Regent Bowerbird is found in south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales, on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range.


The Regent Bowerbird is found in forests, particularly rainforest and densely treed gullies.

Seasonal movements: 

Regent Bowerbirds are mainly sedentary, with some local winter movement, including from higher altitudes towards the coast. Large groups, typically of brown birds (the females and immatures), may congregate in winter.

What does it do?

The Regent Bowerbird feeds mainly on fruit. It feeds in the canopy and upper layers of the forest and sometimes gleans or sallies for insects.


The male Regent Bowerbird, in common with all male bowerbirds, builds and maintains a bower at which it mates with several females. The male does not participate in nest building nor feeding the young. The bower is a small open 'avenue type', which means it is not attached at the top. It consists of twigs and is 15 cm - 20 cm long and 30 cm high. The actual nest, constructed by the female, is a shallow saucer of twigs and leaves, lined with leaves. It is often placed in a clump of mistletoe or a thin fork. The nest may be well away from the male's bower. Only the female incubates and cares for the young.

Living with us

Regent Bowerbirds may sometimes be attracted to picnic areas. In the past, they were killed for their plumes or for mounting as novelties.

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