MacGregor’s Bowerbird

In my lifetime I’ve watched many, many documentaries, but none have made me laugh out loud like Dancing with the Birds. I also think I set a new record for the number of times I said, “WHOA!” All the birds in the documentary were fantastic, yet the male MacGregor’s bowerbird stole the show. This bird builds a bower on a platform of moss that’s more like a tower of woven sticks and twigs – it’s over 3 feet tall! The bird may spend months or years perfecting its bower and maintaining it. He also decorates, hanging plant sap and caterpillar feces among the lower branches much like humans decorate Christmas trees.

MacGregor's BowerbirdOnce perfected, he awaits a female. When one arrives, he begins a show of vocalizations. MacGregor’s bowerbirds imitate other birds’ song as well as human voices and the sound of children playing. To say that this is amazing is an understatement. You gotta hear it to believe it. Then, once the female arrives at the bower they begin a lengthy game of hide-and-seek around the tower. They flit and jump round and round, back and forth. And hopefully, for him, she is as impressed as I was.