Odd Great Bowerbird

Taken from ‘The Drongo’ No 95, March 2008  (photo Annette Sutton)

I often have several Great Bowerbirds in the garden. One particular bird seems to be here all the time. It does have some odd behaviours.

In January I watched it jumping from the ground to peck at leaves on the Golden Penda. I assumed it was feeding on insects at first. However, it turns out it was pulling leaves off and laying them on the ground just like its cousin, the Tooth-billed Bowerbird. It kept up this behaviour for about a week and then obviously decided to start collecting red objects.

It didn’t take me long to figure out why I was having so much trouble with my sprinkler system. The spinner sprays are black and grey with a very small red part that actually causes the water to spray. I had to continually readjust the little red bits and could not understand what was going on. Then I spotted the Bowerbird busily doing its best to get hold of this desirable little red thing. Even though it didn’t succeed in pulling it off, it still managed to dislocate it enough to stuff up the spray effect. I suppose I will have to search for spinners that have no red bits! And the Penda is looking pretty good after its unplanned pruning.

Janet Robino
Return to News page