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.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


afternoon light, no bower, 16 July 2017
The sadness of today, the big sense of loss, is that there is no bower any more.

Our last film record is a week old, but in the last several days, rushing to other things, we could hear the bower crowd chortling behind the scrub.

Not now.

There remains a space, there remains a camera... but blue treasures have almost all been stolen away.

It's been three months Perhaps the birds, like some trees, got their season clocks disturbed by the gentle warm days, nights only just turned cold. But I think there's more to it than that. The weight of time allocated to human research and observation is in springtime. We have observed birds away from the hormonal demands of spring and having fun as well as learning their roles.

As a final (for now) movie I have selected a three minute clip which features a next-generation almost-mature bird (or two), shaping their grown up lives, with a cameo appearance by Odimbar at the end. Not good to read too much into it but, having watched Odimbar for a quarter of a year, Odimbar looks a bit down, as indeed his blue treasure collection looks diminished. Did he, like the ill-trained racehorse, make his run too soon, or has he gone to the paddock for a spell?

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