Backyard Buddies
Satin Bowerbird

Photo: Takver

Satin Bowerbird

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The Satin Bowerbird, Ptilonorhynchus violaceus, gets its name from its habit of building a bower out of sticks, and decorating it with blue items, like stolen pegs, straws, and bits of litter, as well as blue flowers and berries.

Male Satin Bowerbirds have striking blue-black feathers and vibrant violet eyes. It takes a male seven years to develop his distinctive black feathers. Females and juvenile males are a dull green with dark coloured eyes.

It is the males that build the bowers. You might stumble upon a bower in a shady area of your garden or local bushland. This structure is made out of two parallel walls of sticks. The male Satin Bowerbird spends a lot of time collecting blue straws, flowers, bottle caps and other items to surround his bower and make it more appealing to females.

Male Satin Bowerbirds spend plenty of time on the ground, building, decorating and tending to their bowers, which can make them vulnerable to predators.

You can encourage Satin Bowerbirds to build their bowers in your garden by planting lots of local native shrubs, trees and plants. They love to build their bowers in shady, protected spots, which you can create by plant densely.

Satin Bowerbirds feed mostly on fruits throughout the year and in the summer breeding season they eat a large number of insects, while leaves are often eaten during the winter. Avoid using chemicals and pesticides in your garden, and let the Satin Bowerbirds be your bug controllers.

Including some local native plants in your garden that have blue flowers may well encourage male Satin Bowerbirds to visit, and take some blue flowers back to their bowers.

Satin Bowerbirds love:

But they don't like:

Try to:


Don't be surprised if Satin Bowerbirds:

A few more Satin Bowerbird facts

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”Birds, bugs, lizards and penguins are my favourite Backyard Buddies – I like to find, watch and learn about what they do and what I can do to help them.“

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Photo: OEH