BowerbirdsGreat Bowerbird Green Catbird Satin Bowerbird Western Bowerbird

The wonderful Bowerbirds are known for the male bird’s elaborate courtship rituals and seduction techniques that involves building a structure known as a bower decorating it with objects in their efforts to attract a mate.

Bowerbirds are polyandrous (meaning that several females mate with one male), with the exception of the Catbird who are monogamous. Once mating has occurred, male bowerbirds play no role in raising young.

Bowerbirds, together with the Birds of paradise was discussed by the Naturalist Charles Darwin, because they provided extreme examples of sexual selection. Today, the bowerbirds attract considerable scientific interest because of other animal behaviours, such as seen with the male bowerbird decorating their bowers with objects of different colours and the performances of an intricate dance and the range of bird calls.

The Western Bowerbird is heard to imitate cats, chainsaws and even other birds.

With twenty known species in eight genera, they are endemic in Australia and Papua New Guinea. With many species locate in the tropical regions, there are some species that live in the drier regions of Australia. The different species occupy a number of habitats that include rainforest, shrublands, eucalyptus and acacia forests.

The better known bowerbird include the Spotted Bowerbird, the Satin Bowerbird, the Great Bowerbird and the Green Catbird (which is the only bowerbird that does not build a bower). Instead, the male Green Catbird will clear an area for a performance and to display to other females. Like other male bower birds, they will attempt to attract the females by having displays of colourful fruits, flowers and leaves.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Parvorder: Corvida
  • Superfamily: Menuroidea
  • Family: Ptilonorhynchidae
  • Genera:

Footnote & References

  1. Build It {and they will come}, by Virginia Morell, July 2010, National Geographic Magazine,
  2. Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe, Steve Parish Publishing, ISBN 9781740214179
  3. Bird Of The Week: Great and Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis and Chlamydera guttata), Sundays with Annie Brown, ABC,

BowerbirdsGreat Bowerbird Green Catbird Satin Bowerbird Western Bowerbird