Satin Bowerbird

If your blue pen lid is missing, blame the satin bowerbird.

  • Satin bowerbirds are a species of bird, native to the eastern states of Australia, and they are typically found in forest habitats, especially wet or rainforest areas.
  • The scientific name of the satin bowerbird is Ptilonorhynchus violaceus and it is from the family Ptilonorhynchidae, the family of bowerbirds.
  • The plumage of a mature seven year old male satin bowerbird is a deep blue-black colour, while females and younger males have a colour combination of olive-green and brown, patterned with cream.
  • Satin bowerbirds generally reach a height of 27 to 33 centimetres (10.6 to 13 inches), and their diet consists primarily of fruit, and they also eat seeds, leaves and insects.
  • A male satin bowerbird constructs a display structure, known as a ‘bower’, that it builds with sticks on the ground, and it has two sides facing each other with a pathway through the middle, and while it is often thought of as a nest, it is never used for this purpose.

Satin Bowerbird, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Bird, Animal, Australia, Male, Blue

  • Male satin bowerbirds often ‘paint’ the inside of their bower, often with a mix of saliva and plant material; and they are notable for collecting objects, generally of a blue colour, though yellow or metallic coloured objects may also be gathered, to place in and around their bower as decoration.
  • The satin bowerbird male attracts a female partner through its bower and colourful objects, as well as a special ‘dance’ it performs, and younger females are more attracted to bower aesthetics, while older females favour a better dance performance when determining their mate.
  • A female satin bowerbird typically lays one to three eggs each year, of a brown to cream colour with dark markings, in a nest that it builds in trees; and the eggs and young are cared for by the female.
  • Satin bowerbirds have blue eyes, and the mature males have a creamy yellow to green coloured beak, while the females have a dark coloured one.
  • Satin bowerbirds can imitate the calls of other birds, and they also make sounds that resemble hisses, whistles, and buzzes.
Evans O, Satin Bowerbird, 2010, Australian Museum,
Satin Bowerbird, 2016, Wikipedia,
Satin Bowerbird, n.d, Birds in Backyards,
Satin Bowerbird, n.d, Oiseaux-Birds,


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2 Responses to Satin Bowerbird

  1. Val Laird says:

    Great photo – where was that taken?

    • admin says:

      Thanks! The photo was taken at the Melbourne Museum – they have an enclosed living rainforest garden with fish and birds.

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