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bowerbirds

Green Catbird

Green Catbird

The Green Catbird gets its name from the cat-like wailing call that it gives at any time of day throughout the year. Catbirds are not shy, but because they inhabit lush rainforest, they are often difficult to see among the foliage in the treetops, and their characteristic calls usually alert people to their presence. Catbirds forage at all levels of the forest, down to the ground, where they sometimes associate with Satin Bowerbirds. They eat fruit, notably figs, flowers, and other plant material. It will also kill baby birds to feed its own young during breeding season and will eat small reptiles too. Male Green Catbirds do not build a bower. They pair monogamously with a female, helping her to defend an all-purpose territory and feeding her throughout the year. The nest is a bulky cup of twigs, leaves and vines, usually in a prickly shrub. (Source: Birdlife Australia, n.d.), (Image: arronsphoto/Flikr.).

Satin Bowerbird

Satin Bowerbird

Satin Bowerbirds are medium-sized birds. The adult male has striking glossy blue-black plumage, a pale bluish white bill and a violet-blue iris. Younger males and females are similar in colour to each other. Immature or female Satin Bowerbirds can resemble Green Catbirds, but are distinguished by a blue eye, a darker bill and a more scalloped patterning on the underbody. Satin Bowerbirds feed mostly on fruits throughout the year. During summer (breeding) the diet is supplemented with a large number of insects, while leaves are often eaten during the winter months. The bower is built by the male and consists of two parallel walls of sticks, is built on the ground, and is used as a courtship arena during the breeding season. The male decorates it with bright blue coloured objects that it collects; blue clothes pegs, drinking straws and bottle tops are among the favourite stolen items, while bright blue parrot feathers, flowers and brown snail shells, make up the majority of decorations away from human habitation. A mixture of chewed vegetable matter and saliva is used to paint the walls of the bower. The bower owner meticulously maintains it throughout the year. On the arrival of a female, the male Satin Bowerbird leaps into a ritualised display of exaggerated movements, such as strutting and bowing, with wings outstretched and quivering, accompanied by a variety of mechanical-sounding calls, such as buzzing and rattling interspersed with mimicry. One of the bower decorations is usually carried in the male's bill. If impressed, the female moves into the bower avenue for mating and then leaves to perform the nesting duties on her own, while the male readies himself for courting more prospective females. The female places a loose nest of sticks in a tree or bush, up to 30 m – 35 m above the ground. (Source: Birdlife Australia, n.d.), (Image: Norman Chaffer.).