Spotted bowerbird

Chlamydera maculata

Male and female Spotted bowerbirds look the same, both have a mottled brown appearance and a bar of lilac on the back of their necks. The mottled plumage varies from fawn-brown with dark spots on the neck, to dusky-brown or black with buff spots on the back and wings.

Decoration of bowers.

The bower is located on the ground under shrubs, facing a north-south direction. The structure is made from finely interwoven dry stems set in a foundation-mat of crossed sticks creating parallel walls of finely interwoven dry stems.

With his beak, the male dabs a red-brown mixture of saliva and grass juice on the inner walls. At each end of the bower, up to a metre of ground is cleared and decorated with neat piles of white and pale green objects. Bones, pebbles, snail shells, seeds, berries and even pieces of glass are used.

In NSW, spotted bowerbirds are found in grassed woodlands on the western slopes and plains. They often live around homesteads, making their bowers in residents’ gardens.

Males mate with several females during the breeding season, he spends his time tending, watching and ‘singing’ over his bower throughout the year. The females nest and rear the young on her own.


NSW Department of Environment

Field guide to Australian Birds.

Field guide to the birds of Australia, 6th Edition