Photo of satin bowerbirds bower on the property at Bilpin.
Bowerbirds are very closely related to birds of paradise, and species of bowerbird are found in many parts of Australia and New Guinea. They are mainly forest birds, living in a particular local area throughout their lives. Male bowerbirds weave intricate display areas (or bowers) out of twigs. They decorate their bowers with charcoal, saliva and colourful objects. Because of this, bowerbirds are often thought of as the most advanced of all birds.
There are so many fun facts about the bowerbird that I share, some I find hilarious and even more hilarious when I realize how similar the bowerbirds behaviour is to the human race.
Here’s one fact that may sound familiar…
The female bower bird has three stages before she will consider the male desirable…
Firstly, she will inspect his site before the male builds the bower. Then she will call in for a site inspection while he is building the bower. Lastly, she will go check one final time on all the local male bowers. The male bowerbird pulls out all his best moves to entice her, including crooning while he jumps around doing all his cool dance moves. This show is carried out on his specially picked and carefully arranged blue ornaments, often picking one up and dangling it in front of her to further impress. Fantastic stuff!!
Another thought provoking fact that relates to this is, the younger female bowerbirds are more enamored by the possessions yet the older female bowerbirds are more interested in what’s going on with his dance moves!
The property I am doing my artist residency on has a satin bowerbirds bower. Before learning this I had made a decision to launch into my ‘special project’ which is connected and influenced by the bowerbird. When I was told about this resident bower bird I saw it as a sign to push into work I had been procrastinating about. I had been postponing working on this ‘special project’ because I was apprehensive about stepping into new work, boots and all.
Now I am really excited by this ‘special project’ and will be presenting it on Open Day at BigCi on Sunday the 10th of July 2016. Much of the work is still in the making and I will keep sharing its development and hope you come check it out on Sunday July 10th.