The Satin Bowerbird Dons Nature’s Finest Black Attire with Elegance and Grace


Adult males of this species display a striking iridescent blue-purple plumage, complemented by a pale bill and a vivid violet eye.

Meet the Satin Bowerbird:


“The satin bowerbird, ‘green’ bird” by Tatters  is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. (cropped)

Females of the species might be confused with green catbirds or spotted catbirds due to their distinct greenish-brown or entirely brown upper bodies, complemented by a lighter underbody adorned with a distinctive reticulated or scalloped pattern.

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However, their remarkable blue eyes set them apart.


The satin bowerbird is predominantly found in rainforests and tall wet sclerophyll forests in eastern Australia, spanning from southern Queensland to Victoria. An isolated population can also be observed in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland.


Diet: Satin bowerbirds primarily exhibit frugivorous feeding habits as adults, although they also incorporate leaves, seeds, and a small quantity of insects into their diet. During their early stages of development as nestlings, they rely heavily on a diet consisting of beetles, grasshoppers, and cicadas until they attain the ability to fly..

Courtship Behavior: Similar to all bowerbirds, the satin bowerbird exhibits intricate courtship behaviors. Extensive research has been conducted on mate choice within this species. Male satin bowerbirds construct specialized stick structures known as bowers, which they decorate with a variety of objects, including blue, yellow, and shiny items like berries, flowers, snail shells, and even man-made objects such as ballpoint pens, drinking straws, and clothes pegs.


Nesting and Life Cycle: Satin bowerbirds typically nest between October and February. The female typically lays two eggs, occasionally one or three, in a shallow nest constructed from twigs. These nests are adorned with leaves from Eucalyptus or Acacia trees, which turn brown as the eggs are laid, serving as a form of camouflage. The eggs are cream-colored with streaks of brown and are larger than those of other birds of similar size, weighing around 19 grams. They are laid every other day and hatch asynchronously after an incubation period of 21 days.


The young satin bowerbirds gain the ability to fly approximately three weeks after hatching but remain dependent on the female for an additional two months before dispersing, typically at the onset of the southern winter in May or June.


Female satin bowerbirds reach maturity at around two to three years of age, while males do not achieve maturity until seven or eight years when they molt completely into their distinctive blue-black adult plumage. Among passerine birds, the satin bowerbird boasts an extended lifespan, estimated at approximately eight to nine years on average, with a record longevity of twenty-six years in the wild, making it the longest-lived banded passerine species.”


This bird is regarded as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.


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