Spotted Bowerbird


Chlamydera maculata


other names
Mimicbird or Cabbage-bird


Length 280 to 300mm. Crown and face brown with streaks of ochre. Broad nape bar of dense lilac plumes. Brown mantle. Rest of upper parts are dusky brown spotted with ochre. Throat and breast are brown-grey mottled with ochre-cream, grading to pale cream at belly. Brown eyes. Brown bill with a yellow mouth. Feet are olive-brown. Sexes are similar however female is more streaked on the crown, has a smaller nape bar of lilac and has a longer tail.

: As per adult but with no lilac nape bar.

Voice: Penetrating drawn out call, rasping note for contact or alarm. Male sings a display song of splutters, clinks and hisses. He also mimics other bird song and noises. Female hisses softly when in bower.

The Spotted Bowerbird can be found in well grassed woodlands of mid-eastern Australia; south to the Murray River and north to the mid Queensland area of Cape York. Diet consists of fruit and the occasional insect. The male spends much of his time tending to his bower which are two parallel walls of finely woven grass stems about 150 to 200mm apart, 200 to 500mm high and 400 to 700mm long and oriented north to south. It decorates the bower with green and white or silver items, usually berries, pebbles, bottles tops, etc. When a female visits the bower the male displays animatedly; running, bounding, dancing in circles, flicking wings, expanding his lilac nape band, picking up and dropping items in the bower while singing, chittering and mimicking other sounds. Mating, from September to February - and with any number of females per male -is in the bower, she then leaves to nest and rear the birds. The nest is a loose saucer of thin leaves, vines and twigs. Two to 3 eggs are laid and incubated by the female only.