© Mark
 image source: closeupbirding.com.au
© L. A. Kelley
Habitat: northern Australia
Status: Least Concern

There are many spectacular members of the bowerbird family, but the largest is the Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis). This rather inconspicuous bird, aside from the male’s small but electrifyingly-pink crest, grows from somewhere between 33 and 38 cm long. It only makes sense that the biggest species of bowerbird should produce the largest bower as well. Males construct a twin-tower avenue type bower that’s approximately 1 meter long and 45 cm high to attract and then woo a female.

To make the bower look particularly enticing, the male decorates the surrounding area with white and green objects – stones, bones, shells, leaves, and small man-made plastic items like bottle caps. These birds had better put out their best work too, for only the males with the best bowers can attract a mate.

To get an idea of how to successfully construct a winning bower, younger males attend a single bower at the same time and practice their building skills before actually constructing a bower of their own.

May the best bower builder win!