Flame Bowerbird- one of brilliantly colored bowerbird

Among all the birds’ species, there is a species that is quite interesting to learn about, the Flame Bowerbird. If you look up its name on the internet, you will see its body colors that look like fire. For you who didn’t know about this species, you must be questioning why its name is the “bowerbird. It is no other than its behavior that male bowerbirds will build a nest (bower) to attract the female bowerbirds.

What is more interesting is that among all bird species, the bowerbirds have complicated mating stages. Some studies indicate that it is the way for females to evaluate the abilities of their partners. Some others also suggest that this trait of male bowerbirds might be related to their genetic quality. So, what other interesting of these bowerbirds should you know? Let’s find out below.

Male Flame Bowerbird- Source- tropicalbirding.com

Among all the bowerbird species, the flame bowerbird is considered one of the most beautiful with brilliant colors. They are the first ever bowerbird species who was described by the naturalist. The male flame bowerbirds fall in the medium-sized bird’s category with a body length of 25cm. At the same time, the female ones are the bowerbirds with dominant olive-brown color with yellow or golden yellow.

Colors of the Bowerbirds

There are quite a lot of color variations in the species of bowerbirds; as its name says, the flame bowerbirds have color compositions that represent the flame. They are scientifically known as Sericulus ardens. You would immediately identify this kind of bowerbird by its color composition, which likes the sunset. The upper half would be colored in bright crimson while its lower half is orange and yellow. This bird has bright yellow eyes with pupils that could be dilated separately at will. You can see that the crimson, orange, and yellow color make a perfect blurred line right on the center of its body. Plus, the jet black tips on its tails and wings further makes this flame bowerbird mesmerizing. The female one is not colored as much as the male one.

It is not only about its color scheme, but the way a bowerbird uses each color on their body during the ritual is simply mesmerizing. Simply reading the description would only make it harder to believe that such a bird species truly exists. You would want to see the video documentary below when a bowerbird is mating. From its pupils’ color alone, you could see that the bird could make pulses on its pupils so that the yellow and black could take turns dominating the eye color. And it could do it on each of its eyes separately, making some people question if it is a robot or not.

Flame Bowerbird –  photographer Tadashi Shimada

Male Flame Bowerbird

Unlike some other bird species or even another bigger species, bowerbirds have strong instincts to choose the right mate. The male flame bowerbirds would use their best efforts to build an appealing nest with all the complexity. They would decorate their bower with things that have the same color as they desire. Knowing such preparations, the male birds should make before they can take a female bowerbird to mate reminds us of human culture. Even after building such a grand nest, a male bowerbird should do a performance when the female bird enters his nest. The performance would be how proficient the male bird could utilize every part of its body with intriguing colors.

More than just a way to flirt with the female bowerbirds, this performance is also a chance for the females to evaluate their soon to be a mating partner. In this phase, the male bowerbirds should do their best to impress the females. Or else, all of their efforts would be a waste as the female flies away. Even in the middle of performing their abilities, another male bowerbird could come to ruin the party and steal the female away. However, such an incident wouldn’t happen if the male is truly capable of impressing the female. This is what makes the male flame bowerbird interesting during the mating phase. Even some of the jungle tribe uses the bird’s movements as their dance. The tribe would decorate their body to mimic the appearance of a flame bowerbird.

Dancing male Flame Bowerbird in front of female- Captured by -Huw Cordey

Eggs of Bowerbirds

By watching the video documentary of the bowerbirds’ mating process, more questions should arise from your mind. How could they lay eggs in the bower? Of course, the bower acts no more than the place for the mating process. Laying the eggs and hatching them would take place somewhere else. When a female bowerbird has conceived, it will go somewhere else to build its own nest for laying eggs. The nest itself would be not much different than the common saucer-shaped birds’ nest. The female bird would do all the laying eggs and hatching her eggs all by herself.

During this phase, the male flame bowerbird might seduce another female and mate with her. It is a common trait of male bowerbirds to have more than one mating partner. All the female bowerbirds’ nest would be far away from the bower. The nests can usually found in a tree, quite far above the ground, with only a female bowerbird protecting the eggs. Sometimes, you would find an egg with intriguing patterns on its shells.

Male flame bowerbird with the nest- source birdquest-tours.com

Where Can You Find Flame Bowerbird?

Bowerbirds have quite a lot of species with different color schemes that make their body. However, for this specific flame bowerbird, you can only find them in New Guinea rainforests. You won’t have any trouble finding this particular species of bowerbird because they are not on the brink of extinction. They were listed as the least concerned species in the IUCN red data book within the threatened species list. Bowerbirds have an average lifespan of 20 – 30 years, and it means they could reproduce a lot before they die.

It is truly a sight when the male flame bowerbirds are performing their dance to impress the female. Even if you are watching the scene live, you will find it hard to believe if a real living animal is capable of such a feat. Nature surely is full of surprises. Take your time, and enjoy the rare scenes at least once in your life.