Alice Springs Fauna •
One of the popular and interesting birds seen around Alice Springs is the Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata). Named Karrke, in the Central Australia Arrente language, this bird is often heard before being seen. With their great gift of mimicry they are known to make a range of sounds from mechanical churrs, churring, crackles, whistles, rasps, chain-saw, cat cries, and they even mimic other bird species.
Endemic to Central Australia and semi-arid Western Australia, they are often sighted in native fig trees, people’s backyards and drinking at bird baths. The male bird can be seen gathering green and white objects to decorate their bower.
The Western Bowerbird has beautiful scalloped plumage, the colours ranging from dark brown to a near black, with patterns of spots that range from light fawn to orange brown. The underside plumage is also a light fawn to buff colour.
It is the erectile iridescent lilac/pink nape crest (known as the nuchal crest) that attracts the eye, especially in the mature male when they perform in front of the female birds. The female has the same lilac/pink crest, but it is less prominent, whilst it is absent in the immature bird.
The bower of the male Western Bowerbird can often be seen at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.
More information about the Western Bowerbird can be found in
- Birds > Western Bowerbird
- Alice Springs Desert Park Western Bowerbird
- Olive Pink Botanic Garden Western Bowerbird
- Watarrka National Park Western Bowerbird
- Finke Gorge National Park Western Bowerbird
- and our blog Treasures of our Western Bowerbird
- Scientific Classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Ptilonorhynchidae
- Genus: Chlamydera
- Species: C. guttata
- Binomial name: Chlamydera guttata
Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Bees Amegilla Bee Bright-white Masked Bee Bush Bee Ceylalitus perditellus Golden-browed Resin Bee Red-headed Masked Bee Alice Springs Butterflies & Moths Blue Moon Butterfly Caper White Butterfly Alice Springs Reptiles Bearded Dragon Long-nosed Dragon Perentie Alice Springs Spiders Birds in Alice Springs Babblers Black-faced Cuckooshrike Brown Falcon Rainbow Bee-eater Sacred Kingfisher Wedge-tailed Eagle Western Bowerbird Whistling Kite Black-footed Rock Wallaby