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Satin Bowerbird (male)

Ptilonorhynchus violaceus


A passion for all things blue! The male Satin Bowerbird has a glossy blue-black plumage, a pale bluish white bill and a violet-blue iris. It is best known for building an incredible bower to attract females and decorating it with bright blue coloured objects. Find out more in the notes.


Forests, woodlands, rainforest and nearby open areas. Distribution: Eastern and South-Eastern coast of Australia. Spotted here in the Lamington Range National Park, Queensland


The bower built by this bird consists of two parallel walls of sticks (picture 4), is built on the ground, and is used as a courtship arena during the breeding season. The male decorates it with bright blue objects that it collects or steals: blue clothes pegs, pens, drinking straws and bottle tops are favourites. This one has found some blue paper and bits of plastic. Away from human habitations it will find bright blue parrot feathers, flowers, berries and brown snail shells. The bower is carefully maintained throughout the year. On the arrival of a female, the male Satin Bowerbird engages into a sophisticated display of movements and calls while carrying one of the bower decorations. If impressed, the female moves into the bower avenue for mating and then leaves to nest on her own. The male can then court more prospective females. Immature or female Satin Bowerbirds resemble Green Catbirds. Watch it all there!

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52 Comments (1–25)

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Thanks Ava! Best love pad ever :-) And thanks armadeus.4 for reminding me of this encounter. I returned to the same spot the following year but failed to see the bird.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

I'm so glad to see this come through the feed again. It's such a wonderful series of this wonderful and creative bird and his amazing piece of love-nest architecture! Perfect for Valentine's Day!

armadeus.4 6 years ago

Awesome Daniele! Great shots of the male too. So far I have only managed to get shots of a female, never the male. Love the video! I've heard stories of keys getting used as decorations but never seen it happen :D

yunseong1 8 years ago

The male and the female has totally different colors!

DanielePralong 9 years ago

Thanks Steve and Muse! I did return to the same spot this year and found a bower again, but I had no luck spotting the bird.

MUSE 9 years ago

Beautiful ...

Steve A
Steve A 9 years ago

Daniele, Wonderful shot! I have a Bower on my own property but have never been able to get a clear photo of the adult male. Notoriously camera shy!

DanielePralong 10 years ago

Thnaks Ava! I'll be visiting the same place again in late March and hope to see more bowers and and bowerbirds in action. Hopefully I'll see a female as well.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 10 years ago

Another great bower spotting. The bird is holding his blue plastic treasure in the first 3 pictures and the 4th is the bower itself.

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thank you Sachin!

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 11 years ago


DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thank you Carol!

CarolSnowMilne 11 years ago


DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thank you Daacwen First Name!

Daacwen 11 years ago

awesome spotting

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thanks Saarbrigger! And I learned about International Klein Blue!

Saarbrigger 11 years ago

Wow amzing bird. It looks like as the French painter "Yves Klein" has "stolen" it's famous patented colour (IKB 191) from this bird... :-)

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thanks Leanne!

LeanneGardner 11 years ago

Wow! What a find! Congratulations on an awsome spot.

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thanks Dan!

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 11 years ago

Holy Blue! Great color! I read about these birds and saw some of their nest displays in NG, really interesting!

DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thank you Sachin!

Carolina 11 years ago


DanielePralong 11 years ago

Thanks Satyen and Carolina! Carolina with this bird the iris is blue to violet depending on the individual.

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 11 years ago

wonderful sharing,

Spotted by

Binna Burra, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Mar 26, 2012
Submitted on May 2, 2012

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