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Western Bowerbird

From Opus

Alternative names: Guttated Bowerbird; Pale-spotted Bowerbird; Yellow-spotted Bowerbird; Large-spotted Bowerbird

Photo © by Mike BouetteYeelirrie Station, Australia, 20 August 2006
Photo © by Mike Bouette
Yeelirrie Station, Australia, 20 August 2006
Chlamydera guttata

Ptilonorhynchus guttatus


[edit] Identification

28cm (11 in)

  • Rufous-buff head with black feather margins, crown with glossy silvery-white sheen
  • Pale to bright pink erectile filamentous nuchal crest
  • Blackish-brown to blackish upperparts and upperwings with bold terminal or subterminal clay-coloured rounded feather spotting
  • Blackish-brown to blackish chin, throat, ear-coverts and upper breast with clay-coloured spotting
  • Dirty buff rest of underparts
  • Dark brown eye
  • Blackish bill
  • Olive-brown legs
Male in bowerPhoto © by NeilAlice Springs, Australia, April 2004
Male in bower
Photo © by Neil
Alice Springs, Australia, April 2004

Female like male but without pink crest (older females may have a small one). Juveniles undescribed, immatures without crest.

[edit] Similar species

Much darker than similar Spotted Bowerbird.

[edit] Distribution

Central Australia and the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Generally uncommon.

[edit] Taxonomy

May form a superspecies with Spotted Bowerbird and has been considered conspecific in the past.

[edit] Subspecies

Two subspecies recognized:

[edit] Habitat

Riverine woodland, scrub thickets, often in rocky ranges and gorges. Visits gardens around human habitation. Occurs from sea-level up to 500m.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds mainly on fruits (particulary rock figs). Takes also flowers, seeds, buds, nectar and arthropods.

[edit] Breeding

A bowerPhoto by Tiger1Western Australia, 1991
A bower
Photo by Tiger1
Western Australia, 1991

Breeding season from July to March, display peaking from August to December. A polygynous species. The male builds and attends a bower to attract females. They build a nest alone and also breed alone.
The avenue-type bower is quite large. It's decoration varies geographically, it includes bone fragments, snail shells, green fruits, pebbles and many other items including human-made ones. Theft or even desctruction of bower by other male occurs. When the female arrives the male performs a courtship display.
Following mating, females construct nests of a shallow bowl of dead twigs, placed in a low bush or tree. 1- 2 eggs are laid.

[edit] Movements

A resident species. Some local wandering may occur.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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