Every morning I see the same little bird busy around the branches across from my window. Wondering about the commotion, I take my camera out and see to my amazement a beautifully woven, intricate bower, surrounded by blue treasures.

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This is the courting stage, or bower, of the blue satin bower bird. The male is noted for its irridescent blue-black plumage.

To win the heart of a female, the male weaves an arena from hundreds and hundreds of individually collected twigs, all a similar diameter.

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In the centre he erects two upswept wings which enclose a circular stage. Surrounding the stage he places found objects, both natural and man-made, which must be of a bright blue colour. These include feathers from the crimson and blue rosella, bottle tops, and wayward plastic remnants from all kinds of packaging and garden pots.

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The female bower bird has a mottled green and brown plumage, providing ideal camouflage in Australia’s eastern states bushland.

To attract her attention, he hops onto a bough above the bower and sings and dances. As one approaches, he flies down to the bower and lifts various blue treasures up to show her.

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The females are very particular. Some fly off after barely a glance at his labour of love. However, it is not uncommon for the male to attract a “harem” of females around him during mating season. Let us hope our little male wins many hearts this autumn.

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