Finke Gorge National Park

FaunaBlack Headed Goanna Clam Shrimp Denham Stick-insect Nasutitermes triodiae Pied Butcherbird Sand Goanna Scarlet Percher Shield Shrimp Spinifex Pigeon Western Bowerbird – Finke Gorge NP Yellow-faced Whip Snake

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer

The Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), whose name in the Central Australia Arrente language is Karrke, are a familiar sight around Central Australia.

They inhabit the gorges and rocky hills, in semi-arid regions where native figs are found. Some have adapted to areas with dry, open scrub and woodland. They can also be seen around some of the bush lands surrounding Alice Springs and other communities. Their range include the desert region of Central Northern Territory and north-west region of Western Australia, often near permanent waterholes.

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer

The Western Bowerbird has beautiful scalloped plumage, the top side ranging from dark brown to almost black with irregular colour pattern of spots ranging from a light fawn through to orange brown. Its underside and front plumage is a buff / light fawn colour.

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer

The Western Bowerbird has a characteristic erectile iridescent lilac/pink nape crest (known as the nuchal crest), which is smaller in the female with less of a marked lilac/pink crest. When the male performs in front of female birds, the lilac/pink crest in the male becomes erect and fans out sideways, with the colour of the fringe visible behind its eyes, when viewed from the front.

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer

The bower, created and maintained by the male bird, is a sight to see, often lined with trinkets, green fruit and berries, anything white, including discarded plastic.

The images on this page were taken in Palm Valley in the native fig tree at the top of the Palm Valley walk. The Western Bowerbirds were feasting on the figs.

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Palm Valley © Dorothy Latimer

More information about the Western Bowerbird can be found on Alice Springs Desert Park Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden Western Bowerbird, Watarrka National Park Western Bowerbird, Birds – 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

Finke Gorge National ParkCamping & Picnic Area Boggy Hole Palm Valley Fauna Flora

FaunaBlack Headed Goanna Clam Shrimp Denham Stick-insect Nasutitermes triodiae Pied Butcherbird Sand Goanna Scarlet Percher Shield Shrimp Spinifex Pigeon Western Bowerbird – Finke Gorge NP Yellow-faced Whip Snake