ODIMBAR (One Day I Might Be A Raptor) was not here on 5 April 2017, but had set up his court by 14 April. From behaviour we have considered that he is newly adult-fledged, but he could be an older bird who has shifted his court. It is autumn and the courting that dominates reporting on bowerbirds is not due till spring.

As we begin this blog on 16 April 2017, we already have our hearts in our mouths, concerned that this new family member outside our suburban bedroom window will survive the competition and that his court may thrive. His day is busy: hunting, building, learning, asserting, defending, charming, singing, raucous caucusing and dancing.

And the evidence before us, of daily life, is much more complex than what one usually reads or views on Youtube, of isolated males building bowers in spring to try to entice picky females with whom their relations are fleeting. It's not like that at all here.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

An afternoon of maintenance, practice and a rowdy visit. And bathing wrens.

I went to get a photo of the bower site and the adjacent trees, particular the smooth trunked Bleeding Hearts (Homolanthus populifolus), up which Odimbar can skip in half a second to sit in his observer post. See this when he's had a drink, second movie below. These elegant rainforest trees, named for their leaf appearance, arrive as seeds in bird droppings. That is the close observation post. 60 or70 metres away in a neighbour's backyard, he goes much higher to guard his territory.

In going to take a photo, with the iPad, I discovered two wrens having a bath. A low quality movie in low light, but you can make out the wrens having fun at the birdbath.

The very dense tree in the right is Michelia figo known as the Port Wine Magnolia.
The field camera absent while card is read, usually hangs on the back of the wire framed chair with wooden seat.
The bower is behind the left-leaning tree, which is a Hymenosporum flavum
known as a native frangipani in Australia, for its abundant creamy white flowers.
The shrubbery to the left, the backdrop to the bower contains camellia, azalea and currently in bright red orange flowers of Abutilon. Whose flowers he throws away if they fall in the bower., wrong colour.

This below is a bunch of film clips from several days ago, briefly after 2pm, then several after 4pm. A relatively quiet afternoon, though we have no record of what preceded it.

Odimbar calmly does some tidying up, then flies away. Then an immature male practices some things he'd like to do if he turns blue, I called this role the 'Pretender' before, it will still do. Then Odimbar defends his bower against a couple of green birds. Then he gets to show his style, to himself. I keep typing here my speculations about behaviour and maturation... and then erasing them. Time enough for that later.

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