Bowerbirds are fascinating. I only have to walk for 5 minutes to see at least two bowers in the park, often active with the males displaying. Here in North Queensland we have the Great Bowerbird (species name Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis), which in spite of the exquisite complex behaviour is so common that we can delight in it, or probably often simply ignore it. The males build a ‘bower’ to attract the female. Different species have different types of bowers, some tidier than others, but the Great Bowerbird has a very beautiful one. It is built with numerous sticks, quite dense, forming two arched walls. The bower is adorned with ‘treasure objects’ many man-made that the birds find atttractive and ‘steal’ to take back for their bower. They even steal from each other!
My latest linocut shows a male by its bower. This one in particular had lots of white and red ornaments with white round pieces of styrofoam and red tops, and silver/grey screws. It is quite fascinating but somehow also sad to see bowers so full of our waste objects. It makes me wonder what the changes have been in time of the objects birds put in their bowers and how will it be in many years down the track.