Amazing Architects: 5 Most Beautiful Bowerbird Species


If a man proposes to a woman the way a bowerbird does, no one would say the romance is dead again. Bowerbirds are one of the fascinating bird species whose courtship behavior involves building and decorating to attract females’ attention. Apart from their impressive ability and skills, bowerbirds are also famous for their beautiful and colorful plumage as well. This is why I am here to introduce you to 5 most beautiful bowerbird species today. Each species is pretty and unique in its own way, so let’s see which one you like the most.

1Flame Bowerbird

With a body that looks like fire, a flame bowerbird has magnificent orange and golden yellow plumage that blend perfectly together. Both sexes have similar plumage coloration with black tips on the tail. The brilliant color of flame bowerbirds distinguishes them from the rest of the family, and spotting one is quite easy. This bowerbird species is endemic to the rainforests of New Guinea and some parts of Australia. The tropical rainforests where they live offer abundant food with very few predators which are favorable for these amazing birds. These flamboyant birds feed on fruits and seeds along with insects and spiders that they can find.

Bowerbirds are famous for their courtship rituals, and this one is also among those. A male flame bowerbird is more colorful than a female, and uses it to his advantage during the courtship. He dances by twisting his tails and wings to the side, and shakes his head quickly. The male’s courtship to impress a female is truly a beautiful sight, and their dance moves are so fascinating. Their current threats at the moment are foxes and land clearing, and they are not too serious now. Thanks to the safe environment, the population of these extraordinary birds is doing well at the moment.

2Golden-Fronted Bowerbird

Slightly smaller than the flame bowerbird, the golden-fronted bowerbird is one of the most beautiful bowerbird species to see. A male golden-fronted bowerbird is rufous-brown in color, with buffish yellow underparts and dark gray feet. The most distinctive part of this bird species is an elongated golden crest on his head. This crest extends from his golden forehead, making him look as if he has an incredible hairdo. It is an Indonesian endemic bird, it lives in the rainforests on the island.

When breeding season comes, a male adorns his bower with flowers and Litchen that he can find. The male always stays close to his bower to protect it from rival males that attempt to damage his work. Once he finishes building, the male will call out so that the females can come and inspect his bower. A female checks his bower, but the coloration of his plumage also plays a part in the criteria. If she likes what she sees, she’ll allow him to mate before they go separate ways.

3Masked Bowerbird

Masked bowerbird does not only have similar coloration to the flame bowerbird but also similar size. This beautiful bowerbird species also has flame orange and golden yellow plumage, making both of them look like one. However, you can notice the difference between these two birds in the appearance that lies within its name. That’s right, the masked bowerbird has a black mask on its face while a flame bowerbird does not. The one important thing that these birds share is the bower that they build to attract a female. These birds are found in the rainforests of Indonesia and West Papua New Guinea.

4Regent Bowerbird

Many bowerbirds are sexually dimorphic, but this one takes it to a whole new level. The coloration of the males and females is totally different from one another. A male regent bowerbird has a black body with a golden orange-yellow crown, mantle, and wing feathers. Along with those, it has a yellow bill and iris with black feet, making it look very striking. Meanwhile, a female is brown with some fawn or whitish markings on her body. This beautiful bowerbird species is endemic to Australia, where they live in densely treed gullies and rainforests across the country.

A male constructs his bower in a structure of 2 walls of sticks before adorning it with berries, leaves, seeds, and shells. The unique thing about them is the strategy that a male regent bowerbird uses to decorate his bower. He mixes a muddy grayish blue or pea green saliva paint in his mouth and uses it to paint his bower. This one bower he builds is to attract as many females as possible. A male bowerbird mates with several female bowerbirds, and he does not raise the young at all. After mating, the female will build her own saucer-shaped nest from twigs that are often far away from the bower.

5Satin Bowerbird

image: Leo

Not everyone is born pretty, and the satin bowerbird knows that so well. The gorgeous satiny blue-black sheen that you see here takes up to 7 years to develop. A male and female satin bowerbird looks similar before the transformation of the male begins. At first, they both have an olive-green plumage with dark scalloping below and brown wings and tail. When the 5th year comes, the males start to develop their adult plumage before they look completely glorious at 7 years old. The satin bowerbirds are endemic to the Eastern and South-Eastern coast of Australia where they live in wet forests and woodlands.

A mature male satin bowerbirds are mostly solitary, but they would communicate with each other using a variety of sounds. These birds can buzz, hiss, and whistle, and they can also mimic the sounds of some other birds. Satin bowerbirds are not only among the most beautiful bowerbird species but also amazing builders. During the breeding season, a male decorates his bower using bright blue objects to make it stand out. When a female visits his bower, he will display some dance moves along with mechanical-sounding calls to attract her. Although not at risk, the population of these bowerbirds is vulnerable to habitat loss due to deforestation and fragmentation.

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