Category Archives: Aves (Birds)

Organism of the Day: Bowerbirds!

Wow, who’s the A-hole who dumped all that plastic on that bird? And why did they have an affinity for blue?

5670617_origWell, that would be the bird itself, the Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus). You see, no one dumped that plastic there, the bird brought it. And that love of blue? Yeah, that’s the bird as well. Bowerbirds are family of birds (Ptilonorhynchidae) that live those two nests of biodiversity, Australia (AKA Land of Everything that Wants to Kill You) and Papua New Guinea. Why are they special? Every animal tries to impress mates in some way (Biology is, as my High School AP Bio teacher once said, “…the study of Sex and Death). But Bowerbirds take it to the next level, and actually make artistic landscape designs, complete with structures, color schemes, and even forced prospective to give the illusion of depth in an attempt to woo a female mate. All the designers are male. And over millennia, they have perfected the art. Here’s a cool part; every single Bowerbird has their own distinct sense of style, from color schemes to placement of stick structures to the architecture of said structures. And although the males may achieve their own personal ideal of beauty, it is ultimately the female’s decision to choose which abode is the most dazzling, and the winner gets to mate with her. Truly, it’s one of the most unique, and aesthetically pleasing, mating rituals in the Animal Kingdom. I’m sure Art Majors would get a blast from having a conversation with these Avian Dinosaurs, assuming they could talk. Here is the finished product from above, and a few other examples of these bird’s impeccable sense of design.


Note: I don’t own these images.