Great Bowerbird

Great Bowerbird
Great Bowerbird
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ptilonorhynchidae
Genus: Chlamydera
Species: C. nuchalis
Binomial name
Chlamydera nuchalis
Jardine & Selby, 1830
Chlamydera nuchalis - Mount Carbine.jpg

The Great Bowerbird, Chlamydera nuchalis is a common and conspicuous resident of northern Australia, from the area around Broome across the Top End to Cape York Peninsula and as far south as Mount Isa. Favoured habitat is a broad range of forest and woodland, and the margins of vine forests, monsoon forest, and mangrove swamps.

As with most members of the bowerbird family, breeding considerations dominate the lifecycle: females nest inconspicuously and raise their young alone, while the males spend most of the year building, maintaining, improving, defending, and above all displaying from their bowers. Only a male with a successful bower can attract mates.

The Great Bowerbird is the largest of the bowerbird family and is 33 to 38 cm long and fawny grey in colour. Males have a small but conspicuous pink crest on the nape of the neck.

The Bower

The male builds the largest bower of all bowerbirds. It is a twin-walled avenue-type bower approximately 1 metre long and 45cm high. It is typically located under a shrub or leafy branch. The ends of the bower are scattered with white and green objects - stones, bones, shells and leaves and small man-made objects such as plastic and bottle caps. Within the bower itself is sometimes placed clear glass.

Uniquely among bowerbirds, groups of young males will attend a single bower concurrently, "practising" their bower-building skills prior to establishing their own bower for mating purposes.


  • BirdLife International (2004). Chlamydera nuchalis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

External links

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  • great bowerbird — noun large bowerbird of northern Australia • Syn: ↑Chlamydera nuchalis • Hypernyms: ↑bowerbird, ↑catbird • Member Holonyms: ↑Chlamydera, ↑genus Chlamydera * * * …   Useful english dictionary

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