Satin Bowerbird

Scientific Name: (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

Did You Know?

Satin bowerbirds always build their bowers on a north-south axis. Decorative objects include any suitably coloured man-made objects such as milk bottle caps, straws and clothes pegs as well as natural items such as feathers.

Male and female satin bowerbirds are totally different in appearance. Males are entirely an iridescent deep satin blue, while females are predominantly olive green, paler underneath with dark scalloped-shaped markings. The one thing they do have in common is an electric blue eye.


Satin bowerbirds inhabit the heavily forested and heathland areas of coastal eastern Australia from Melbourne north to central Queensland. A separate race occurs in a small area of far northern Queensland separated by over a thousand kilometres from its southern cousins.


Bowerbirds are omnivorous, meaning that they will eat both plant and animal matter. Fruits, berries, new shoots and insects make up the bulk of the diet in this species.


Bowerbirds are so-named because of the intricate bower structures built by the males. These are not nests but display arenas to attract females. The male further enhances the attractiveness of his bower by decorating with blue objects and then carrying out an involved courtship dance. Once enticed into the bower, mating takes place and then the female leaves to build a nest and raise the offspring all by herself.