A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at www.travelchook.com
Published May 15th 2014
Using the colour blue to attract a mate
You know you've found a Satin Bowerbird's abode when you find a nest like structure with a range of blue objects from blue bottle tops to feathers and blue straws.
[ADVERT]The Satin Bowerbird is drawn to the colour blue like no other animal on earth. They decorate their bowers with blue and the prettiness of their bower impacts their courtship and mating opportunities.
Stealing is rife among the Satin Bowerbird population and the contents of their abode may change daily due to the thieving nature of the birds who delight in poaching every blue object they can find whether it's from a picnic table or a mate's bower. I've actually witnessed one of these beautiful birds pinching a blue straw from a table.
The bird fine tunes the construction of its bower to get it 'just right' and will notice when objects are moved or go missing.
Why Satin Bowerbirds are attracted to the colour blue is a bit of mystery which has puzzled researchers. It could be because they are mirroring their own dark blue sheen or because blue is so attractive. Regardless of the reasons, there is no doubt that this bird's bower is intriguing and unique.
The Satin Bowerbird can be found in rainforests from Victoria to Queensland. Although I never had the thrill of seeing one in Victoria, most of my trips to the Green Mountains have included sightings.
Those in Queensland can find the blue bower of this beautiful bird nearby O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat in the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park.
My first sighting of the blue bower was as a guest of O'Reilly's during an early morning guided bird walk. Since then, I've always been able to find a blue bower myself, and have even had the pleasure of watching a bowerbird pinch a blue straw from a picnic table. Needless to say, I knew exactly where that straw would end up.
Now, when I think of the colour blue, I think of the Satin Bowerbird and its blue abode.
It is a bit like magpies being attracted to silver reflective items. I once saw a documentary about a bird (not the bowerbird) that would collect particular coloured objects and decorate the outside of a female bird's home (it was on the ground) in order to attract her as a mate.