SATIN BOWER BIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violateus) – Melbourne Zoo

From the Archives – December 2012

Satin Bowerbird – female (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

I’ve just come across one of my favourite bird photos in my Bird Library Archives.  I love the rich, glossy blue of the Satin Bower Bird’s eye.

Satin Bowerbird – female

The female and immature birds are a dull olive-green above with browner wings and tail.  It has a faint double white wingbar and its underparts are whitish with conspicuously scalloped brown feather fringes.  I was lucky enough to have the bird over my head to photograph these under-feathers below.

I’d love to see this bird in the wild, but in the meantime, images from Melbourne Zoo’s Great Aviary will have to suffice.

I’ve never been able to capture a good shot of the spectacularly rich glossy blue-black of the male, but here’s a (relatively poor) shot of the colour.  Sometimes it almost looks black and then, in good light, it looks more a rich navy blue (or purple).

Satin Bowerbird – male
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13 thoughts on “SATIN BOWER BIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violateus) – Melbourne Zoo

    1. Thanks Terry. I think that first photo in this post was the first good bird photo I ever took in 2012 and showed me the importance of getting the bird’s eye in focus. The male is almost iridescent with its glossy blue-black feathers and quite attractive in its own way.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think many birds are attractive in either colouring or feather pattern. I never noticed before I took up Photography. But then I never noticed how attractive ‘weed’ flowers were on the roadside (or fields) before I picked up a camera. I’ve always loved the country or mountains, but now have a better appreciation for the small details in nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We had these in the garden when we had our olive farm, Vicki, and it was such fun to see the male build his bower in our shrubbery. They are very clever and Mr BB took the blue inserts out from the inside of our neighbour’s irrigation sprayers by unscrewing them somehow, and put them in his bower.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucky you, Jane. You must have truly enjoyed their company. Sounds like they are very clever too what with their unscrewing fittings. I think birds, in general, are a lot more clever than we give them credit for.

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