Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 166 - Satin Bowerbirds

The house I stayed in last week at Apollo Bay had a wonderful garden, full of hidden places, tall flowering plants and Satin Bowerbirds.  The hidden places and plants were pretty much what I had expected, the Bowerbirds were a wonderful surprise.

However, the Bowerbirds were also frustratingly shy - especially the males.

The Satin Bowerbird - Ptilonorhynchus violaceus - is a rather chunky, thick-set bird about about 30 long.  The male is a wonderful glossy blue-black and the females (and juveniles) are an attractive grey-green with delicate scaly markings.  Both sexes have rather startlingly blue eyes.

I think there was a lot of pre-breeding feeding going on in the garden, and I was unable to find any bowers.  The species has a real fondness for blue objects and the bower, which is built to impress the female, often contains dozens of blue objects.  These must have been in short supply in the past,  but today the bowers are often full of pen tops, milk carton lids and other bits of human rubbish.

I have included a few 'atmosphere' shots of the males, hidden in bushes and basically always just out of sight.  For a very brief period of time one female was willing to pose on a branch for me.

Next time, I'll paint myself blue and see if the birds come over to check me out!






Regular visitors here will not be surprised that I rather like this last image - as it sums up the frustration I had when I was trying to get some picture of the male bird - always a little bit hidden.

Now it's your turn to click the blue button and join in with WBW.  SM

30 comments:

Brian King said...

Very handsome birds! I like the female plumage!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful birds.. Nice pics.. Regards from Madrid.. :-)))

Silver Parrot said...

Those are gorgeous birds. I love the blue eyes! I would've been totally tempted to put out some blue objects to see if the birds would make off with them.

Findlay Wilde said...

It's amazing how just a bright blue eye can make a bird look so stunning. Really nice looking birds, both the males and females.

EG CameraGirl said...

Be sure to take a selfie when you paint yourself blue! Yep, some birds really play hard to get, don't they?

NatureFootstep said...

I did see this bird on my trip last year but I don´t know if I have a any images. If I have they are probably not as good as yours :)

Liz said...

I have to agree that the males are rather shy! I have only ever managed to capture he females. Great images Stewart and thanks for hosting.

Sharon Wagner said...

Look at that blue eye. Birds are so beautiful.

Rhodesia said...

Such a beautiful bird and those eyes..... Some great photos here. Diane

Beth said...

The blue bowers are so pretty too. I just saw one on a Facebook birding group post. They have startlingly blue eyes too.

TexWisGirl said...

really neat looking birds!

mick said...

Great photos of the female bower bird. We had them in our garden in one place where we lived and they ate whatever fruit they wanted and tore the rest to pieces. Not pleasant neighbors at all!

Elliot Montieth said...

Brilliant shots Stewart! I love how the females Sapphire eyes contrast so much to its green and brown body. Captivating birds which you've captured brilliantly!

Missy George said...

I want to see a picture when you paint yourself Blue ! Beautiful birds, love those eyes. Great pictures.

pattisjarrett said...

I can fully appreciate your predicament. My Northern Cardinal male hid in the fennel this week. The blue eyes of the Satin Bowerbird are, well, eye-catching. The female is quite pretty, and I'm sure the male is a handsome fellow. Paint yourself blue and you may just become part of the bower! I'm glad you found this lovely surprise.

Margaret Adamson said...

You were fortunate to see the male and female even though the male was a bit camaera shy! Thanks for hosting and have a great week Stewart.

A Quiet Corner said...

Stewart, what a beautiful bird!! I'm not sure if it's the eye or the texture and coloring, but they are gorgeous!!...:)JP

Екатерина Балагурова said...

Blue eyes captivated me )))

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

one day I will steal a longer lens and get those shots. Getting close enough with my 300 is really hard for those nervous birds.

Those eyes are awesome.

Andrea Priebe said...

I think you must live in Wonderland ... is your name secretly Peter? What an awesome bird to show up as a extra treat in your lodging. I love the colors of the female and I think I would love the male as well, because I seem to see a tad of green mixed into his black or blue, can't quite tell. Odd that the male is the shy one. Glad you had a nice relaxing week. You were long overdue for a break. Haven't heard much about the family lately ... all is well? Be well, Stewart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

marshaleith said...

Beautiful birds...and those eyes! And yes..please post a photo of yourself in blue trying to attract the birds!!

photodoug said...

Stewart, great captures of this shy bird. Thanks for sharing.

Christian Weiß said...

Interesting birds and beautiful birds.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

No wonder they are attracted to blue -- to match their beautiful eyes. What a cool bird.

I do plan to get out and get some bird pictures again someday ... after we get organized in our new city digs (like everything else in life, getting organized seems to take longer the older we get).

Phyllis Oller said...

Beautiful bird, those eyes are something else!! Great pictures! I agree with marshaleith, get a selfie in blue with the bird! phyllis

Linda said...

When you paint yourself blue, be sure to take a selfie!

Marie C said...

Such a lovely bird, Stewart, and you got some great photos! I see the linky is still open so I will add the hawks link now.

CountryMouse said...

Great collection. I recall seeing the bowers in the Bunya Mountains but can't really recall seeing the bower bird wild. This was well before I even owned a camera. They are a flighty kind of bird, even when living in a small zoo area where they are always around people. Both male and female are gorgeous in different ways.

Marilyn Kircus said...

Very interesting pictures of birds I've never heard off. I feel your frustration.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Beautiful looking bird! And I completely relate to your frustration.