We are so very fortunate to share our garden with a male Satin Bowerbird. For at least fifteen years he, or his predecessors, have built bowers in the same location, underneath murraya bushes.
With his violet-blue eyes, he's quite striking, isn't he! In the right light, his shiny, black colour takes on a blue sheen.
His bower is decorated with blue objects he has collected - straws, pegs, bottle tops. There's even a watch band! Most of the objects are scattered within one metre of the bower.
Mr TMW and the kids thought it would be fun to do an experiment.
They placed thirteen bottle lids just over two metres from the bower - two light blue, ten dark blue and one green. And waited to see which ones, if any, he would take to his bower.
Within minutes he took the first four lids. He even managed to pick up two lids in one go. The kids were most excited - us too. We hadn't really expected him to take any while we were there, watching from several metres away.
By the next morning, only four lids remained where the kids had put them. He obviously prefers dark blue, as that's all he took.
He's not completely averse to lighter shades of blue though, as there are a few lighter coloured items in amongst the predominantly dark blue ones around his bower.
We call the bowerbird our friend, as he's quite tame with us. While we're gardening, he seems to show no fear and often comes to within a metre of where we are working or sitting.
On telling the kids this, Little Mister decided to see how close he could come. Over time, he, too, was able to come as close as one metre. It took patience, slow gentle movements, and several goes.
The photo above shows the bowerbird and his bower a couple of days ago.
We're not sure why, but yesterday afternoon the bower was completely flattened. We are assuming the destruction was done by rival male bowerbirds while ours was away from the bower.
It was fascinating to watch him rebuild his bower over several hours. When I came inside on dark, he was still building.
We feel honoured to share our garden with this satin bowerbird. The fact that it's native to Australia, makes it even more special.
Do you have any animals or birds that visit, or live where you are?