Perceptions: Avian aesthetics

Bowerbirds. “make up the bird family Ptilonorhynchidae. They are renowned for their unique courtship behaviour, where males build a structure and decorate it with sticks and brightly coloured objects in an attempt to attract a mate.” From Wikipedia.

“To woo females, the males of 17 of the 20 known species of bowerbirds build structures—often resembling an arbor, or bower, with an artfully decorated platform. …

… evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond has called them “the most intriguingly human of birds.” These are birds that can build a hut that looks like a doll's house; they can arrange flowers, leaves, and mushrooms in such an artistic manner you'd be forgiven for thinking that Matisse was about to set up his easel; some can sing simultaneously both the male and female parts of another species' duet, and others easily imitate the raucous laugh of a kookaburra or the roar of a chain saw. Plus, they all dance.” From National Geographic, July 2010.

More here, and here.

Do check out the links … bowerbirds are completely awesome!

Thanks to Joyce Ramsey, the owner of “Bowerbird Mongo”, a store in Ypsilanti, MI.