Bird Families

Forests of southern Australia and their inhabitants

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Satin bower(Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) is a bowerbird native to eastern Australia.

A rare natural intergeneric hybrid between the satin bower and the regent bower is known as the Ronsley bower.

Description

Mature males have clear blue eyes and are uniformly tinted black, however, slightly diffracted by the surface structure of the feathers results in an almost metallic sheen, giving a deep sunny bluish tint. Immature men are colored and noted the same as women and are often mistaken for them.

Females might be mistaken for the American or spotted thrush with a distinctly green / brown or otherwise completely brown upper body and lighter under the body with a distinct covered mesh or scalloped pattern, but very bright lilac eyes.

Distribution

The Bowerbird is common in the rain forest and high humid sclerophyll forest in eastern Australia from southern Queensland to Victoria. There is also an isolated population in the Wet Tropics of northern Queensland.

Diet

Like all Ptilonorhynchidae, satin bowerbirds are predominantly frugivorous as adults, although they also eat leaves and small amounts of seeds and insects. As chicks, however, they mainly feed on beetles, grasshoppers, and cicadas until they can fly.

Satin breeders are not at all finicky in their food preferences and have taken extremely readily to the numerous plants introduced since European settlement. Indeed, they are a major dispersing agent for many weak plants such as camphor laurel, European olive and privet varieties. They are also often targeted by horticulturalists because they often raid crops of fruits and vegetables. Satin bowerbirds are aggressive when foraging, often trying to move other birds away from fruit trees.

Courtship

Like all bowerbirds, the satin bowerbird exhibits very complex courtship behavior. The choice of mate for satin bowerbirds has been studied in detail by a group of researchers at the University of Maryland, College Park. Men build specialized stick structures called dachas, which they decorate with blue, yellow, and shiny objects if available, including berries, flowers, and even ballpoint pens, drinking straw and discarded other plastic items, like clothespins. As men mature, they use more blue objects than other colors. The women visit them and choose which man they will allow to mate with them. In addition to building their summer cottages, men perform intense behavioral displays called dances in order to woo their mates, but these may be viewed as threatening displays of women. Nestbuilding and incubation is performed by women alone.

A recent study found that female mate choice occurs in three stages:

  • Countryside visits before nests were built while males are absent
  • Visits to summer cottages before nests were built while men are present and showing
  • Visits to a selection of summer cottages, after the nests have been built, resulting in mating with (usually) a single male.

Experimental manipulations of decorations around summer cottages have shown that the choice of young women (those in their first or second year of breeding) is mainly influenced by the appearance of summer cottages, and therefore the first stage of this process. Older women, who are less affected by the menacing aspect of men's shows, make their choices more based on men's dance shows. It has been assumed that as men mature, their racial discrimination develops and they are able to select more blue summer cottages. It is not yet known whether this description would also be valid for other types of bowerbirds.

Investment and life cycle

Satin bowerbirds nest between October and February. Typically two eggs, but sometimes one or three are laid in a shallow nest of branches, on top of which are placed leaves Eucalyptus or Akasii... These leaves turn brown as the eggs are laid and can serve as camouflage. The eggs are creamy but tinted brown and much larger than the typical bird size within the range, laid on every other day and hatching asynchronously after 21 days of incubation.

The young are able to fly three weeks after hatching, but remain dependent on the female for another two months, finally dissipating in the early southern winter (May or June).

The female satin bowerbirds, mature at two to three years, but males, do not reach maturity until seven or eight years old, when they molt completely into their characteristic blue-black adult plumage. The satin bower is the longest-lived passerine with anything close to high-quality pooling data: the species' average lifespan is estimated to be approximately eight or nine years, whilst a record longevity in the wild of twenty-six years is the greatest for any connected passerine ...

Gallery

File: Ptilonorhynchus violaceus - Victoria, Australia - female-8.jpg | Female

File: Satin Bowerbird jpg | Male

File: Male_Ptilonorhynchus_violaceus_at_his_bower male .jpg | A and his dacha

File: BBNest range .jpg | A plastic exhibits at the cottage

Yellow-winged mead (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

This common inhabitant of coastal woodlands and scrub wastelands often visits city parks. Huddled in a large flock, yellow-winged meadows feed on the nectar of flowering trees and shrubs, giving a clear preference to Banksia and Grevillea.

Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) or arbor bird

Having determined the boundaries of its nesting site, the male satin bowerbird dresses in dark blue shiny plumage and builds a small hut, decorating it with blue and blue objects - feathers, pieces of tacky. Then the owner of the hut begins to run around his building, calling the female with loud cries.

Marsupial anteater, or nambat, or goose-eater

It is not for nothing that this animal is also called the marsupial anteater: its diet is almost entirely composed of termites and ants. To get to insects, he first digs up the ground with his front paws or breaks rotten wood, and then fishes victims out of the tunnels with the help of a long sticky tongue.

Laughing kookabara or giant kingfisher

The laughing kookabara is one of the most famous Australian birds. It belongs to the kingfisher family and expertly hunts lizards, snakes, worms and cicadas. The loud voice of kookabar, reminiscent of human laughter, most often announces the forest at dawn and dawn. With this laugh every day Australian radio begins its programs.

Great lyre bird or common lyrebird

This endemic Australian bird gets its name from its unusual tail shape. The male lyrebird is a consummate imitator, capable of accurately reproducing almost any sound heard - from the squeal of a saw and the whistle of a car to complex melodies played on various musical instruments.

Red-gray wallaby

This marsupial animal is one of the most numerous representatives of the kangaroo family and its only species inhabiting high-mountainous alpine regions. As a rule, reddish-gray wallabies live alone. Their thick, beautiful fur was very much appreciated by the Australian aborigines, who sewed warm capes and raincoats from wallaby skins.

Mountain couscous, or mountain possum

Due to frequent forest fires and global warming of the climate, its future is of serious concern to ecologists. During the cold winter months, mountain couscous lives in tunnels under the snow, a thick layer of which reliably protects it from both strong winds and frost. In winters with little snow, the animal has a hard time. The mountain couscous is devoted to feeding during the warm summer months. At this time, a mass of moth-scoops appears on the plains, which form the basis of the animal's diet. This nutritious food allows him to accumulate fat reserves before the hungry winter.

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