General Description

Satin Bowerbirds are medium-sized birds. The males are jet black, with a bluish satin sheen, a bluish white beak and a violet iris. The females are olive green with blue eyes, mottled green-brown underbellies, brown wings and brown tails. The juveniles resemble the adult females, with the adult males starting to develop their adult plumage at about five years and reaching full satin black at about seven years. Body size ranges from 27 to 33 cm.


Satin Bowerbirds are well-known for their bowers, which the males build on the ground to attract and impress females. Bowers consist of two parallel walls of sticks and are meticulously maintained. The males paint the walls with a mixture of saliva and charcoal and decorate them with blue items such as flowers, feathers, berries, pegs, bottle tops and straws. When a female is nearby, the male will display in and around his bower - prancing, strutting, bowing and calling. If suitably impressed, the female will mate with the male in the bower and then leave to nest and care for her young on her own. Females lay 2-3 pale brown eggs in a saucer-shaped nest in a tree, 5-10 m above the ground. Successful males will mate with numerous females. They eat fruit, berries, leaves and insects. Adult males are usually solitary, but the females are often seen in large groups.


Eastern and south-eastern mainland Australia.


Wet forest, woodlands and nearby open areas.

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