The Fantastic Masked Bowerbird
On the third day of our birding trip, we had to split the group into 3 smaller ones because the blinds for Superb BOP, Magnificent BOP, and Masked Bowerbird were small. I and Ken got the blind for the Masked Bowerbird. We had a rare experience. We were already in the blind at 05.30. The male Masked Bowerbird landed at 08.25. After checking his bower for around 3 minutes, he left again. Thirty minutes later, he came again. This time he was with the female Masked Bowerbird. She inspected the bower and then sat in the middle of the bower that looked like a gate. Seeing his female counterpart occupying his bower, the male Masked Bowerbird began to perform his courtship dance which lasted for around 1 hour. He flapped his wings, bowed down in front of his female bird while presenting a blue article that was a cap from a big bottle of mineral water, and a dried brown leaf that looked like a small carpet. He flew to horizontal branches of a shrub plant in front of his bower and jumped up and down the horizontal branches of the plant. After that he danced at the back of the female bird checking her tail. Soon after that he mounted on her back and then mated with her. The mating was less than 4 seconds.
He continued dancing again and the female bird kept on sitting between the bower. The courtship dance performance lasted for another 1 hour. They were mating again at the end of the dance show.
In total, I and Ken enjoyed a 2-hour non-stop courtship dance performance, and 2 mating sessions of the Masked Bowerbird. It was fantastic!
|A Fruit Dove in Arfak mountains|