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The mature male is a golden-olive brown colour, with golden yellow underparts, crown and nape. He has an unusual feather structure that refracts light to produce pure white highlights on the plumage. When younger, the male looks the same as the female. Both have a golden iris. The female, less conspicuous than the male, is olive-brown with ash-grey below.
The Bower: The bower is usually about two metres tall and constructed around two trunks of saplings connected loosely by a fallen branch. It uses lichen and freshly-plucked flowers to decorate it. It is the world’s smallest bowerbird, but it is able to build the largest of all bowers. The bower represents external symbols of an individual male’s fitness. The male Golden Bowerbird builds a maypole type of bower of one or two towers of sticks up to 3m tall with a display perch. Skilfully laid sticks connect the towers and decorations are placed on them. These are often white, off-white and pale green orchids, jasmine, other flowers, seedpods and lichens. The sticks become glued together by the action of fungi after some time. To maximise the time a male can spend at a bower, he hides fruits in different places throughout the bower. The bower is very important to the bird, and rival males may steal higher valued decorations from each others’ bowers. This is because the females are discriminative – they will only select the male who uses ornaments that are the rarest or hardest to obtain.
Spotted on Nov 27, 2015
Submitted on Nov 27, 2015