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.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Green bowerbird afternoon

The all-singing, all-dancing Odimbar is not there all day, not always at his bower. He has to eat, perhaps he has to snooze, or schmooz somewhere.

This film is about something that happened on 7 May, in the afternoon, when Odimbar was absent.

It features a green bird. I have from early in this blog puzzled over the role of green birds, some female, some immature males. Comforting to know that until the last several decades everyone in Australia was puzzled about this and I think probably not all the puzzles have gone away.

This green bird spends more than 20 minutes alone, endeavouring to understand 'bower life' and 'learning' some of the bower life routine. I have left the 20 minutes intact (but it's made of 3 minute clips with brief breaks). I marvel at the bird's ability to persist in the task that long. Some may see him doing multiple here-and-there tasks. A matter of definition. I call the whole period a task, a great learning task associated with growing up. The blue-black adults skip from one action to another in the whole task of being adult bowerbirds at the bower. So does this green bird.

I have offered some comment as the movie proceeds. I note that contrary to many humans this bowerbird is able to keep his mind on what he's doing for 20 minutes without getting a snack from the kitchen. He does get a drink of water. We should all turn to water more often to hydrate.

Please enjoy. AND PLEASE WATCH TO THE END, YOU WILL BE REWARDED. The birds are in charge of the script, every time. I'm just astonished that they have such a sense of the importance of a good ending. Even the ending after you think you've already seen the ending...

I should add a note about production of this movie. For some reason iMovie (versions 9 and 10) allowed me for several weeks to make movies from the field camera with its output of files called .AVI . But then iMovie seems to have snapped out of it and realised what it had been allowing and stopped publishing media of AVI origin: dirty rotten old-fashioned Windows-related muck. Legacy stuff, cut it off at the kneecaps! Suffice to say I spent too many hours trying to get iMovie to continue to work before hunting an alternative, testing it in demo, then buying it: a product called Wondershare Filmora. I suppose I should sit back and say that for this older brain it's been more interesting than Sudoku. The challenge at age 73 was the choice between one year for USD49 or a lifetime for USD59. I've paid the extra for lifetime and will have to persist to make it worthwhile... :-) And also will have to live longer to develop more than pedestrian capacity to use it.

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