This is a male Satin Bowerbird. He has uniformly black plumage which strongly diffracts light to produce a deep blue metallic sheen.
Both males and females have beautiful violet-blue-pink eyes which I believe is unique amongst birds.
To attract a mate Males build specialized stick structures called bowers which they decorate with blue, yellow, and shiny objects, including berries, flowers, and many plastic items such as ballpoint pens, bottle caps, drinking straws and clothes pegs. As the males mature they use more blue objects than other colours. The bower seen here is therefore probably the work of an older male. Females visit these and judge them to choose which male they will allow to mate with them. In addition to building their bowers, males carry out intense behavioural displays, ie dances to woo their mate.
It should be pointed out that bowers are not nests, they are sculptures built and decorated purely with the intention of attracting a female. The female actually builds the nest before she decides which male she will accept for mating. She will then go on to lay and incubate the eggs on her own.
Here is the object of all that male attention. The female Satin Bowerbird is mainly greenish/brown in colour, lighter underneath with distinctly reticulated or scalloped patterns, and with the same very striking blue/violet eyes.
The Satin Bowerbird is endemic to Eastern Australia. A ringed specimen is known to have lived for twenty-six years in the wild, the longest life span of any known passerine species.
Retired seafarer living in Frigiliana, a white village in Malaga Province in southern Spain. Married to Elena. Keen bird and wildlife watchers.
More interesting sites