EARLY DAYS AT THE BOWER
It was mid August when I first spotted a satin bowerbird’s boudoir in Memorial Park, Blackheath. I was very impressed by the location. It was secluded and private, but just a short flight to the village shops and cafes.
The bower itself was a work of art; perfectly symmetrical with a fine collection of treasures. Lots of blue plastic it has to be said, but also feathers and creamy dried leaves.
There was some pretty bleak weather during August, but the bower stood up to it all. It is surrounded by shrubbery; mainly hebe and diosma.
One day I noticed that the bower had been established against a small, seedling Japanese maple.
The deciduous tree above the bower turned out to be a prunus. I watched as blossom formed and the bees came.
There are ornamental cherry trees a few metres away. By late September the blossom was providing a tasty and convenient snack for the bowerbird between his amorous encounters.
Mr Bowerbird is now so accustomed to my presence that even I if make a noise approaching he shows no sign of alarm. He is able to differentiate between me rustling the undergrowth and one of his harem….. or a bird of different species. I have watched blue wrens hop through the bower.
The seedling maple is now in almost full leaf. My word, what a long courting season! I had no idea it lasts so long.
The bower’s diosma hedge is flowering by the path.
And look, I spotted minute fruits on the overhanging prunus. They are wild cherries and will make a delightful ‘end of season’ feast for the bower owner. Satin bowerbirds adore fruit of any kind, as I know to my cost.
In the branches of surrounding trees the numerous females who have visited the bower must be building their nests and incubating eggs. Another generation on the way. I have so enjoyed documenting the lives of these fascinating birds. Click HERE if you are interested in the amazing way they reflect our social history.