A Female ‘Black’ Satin Bowerbird January 31, 2009 By jennifer The following picture of a female ‘black’ satin bowerbird, Ptilonorhynchus violaceus, was taken in Katoomba on January 31, 2009, by Jennifer Marohasy.
This satin bower bird could be an immature (M or F), which are just about impossible to pick which is which.
It is about the right time of the year for immatures.
We have observed satin bower birds go through the immature phase on the Mid North Coast, and as they mature, the different sexes becomes apparent. The immature males will have the blue/black feathers come through the brown/green coat, they look rather scatty with these feathers coming through. The shape of the head changes and the angle and colour of the bill also changes. The male becomes more aloof and secretive as this change is reaching it’s conclusion.
Another observation is that the immature males become noisier as they practice mating calls, and even chase the others around while bobbing and calling (like mature males courting)
The immature females become more distinctively marked as they mature, with the feather covering being complete unlike the immature birds.
We have been fortunate to observe satin bower birds over many seasons.
Also we have had occasional visits from a Green Catbird, another of the bowerbird family.
I am currently looking after a (female?) immature satin bower bird which looks exactly like your picture but the problem is she isn’t growing a tail and she has been with us for over 3 weeks now. Has anyone got any advice?
I noticed a black satin bower bird appeared today – I’ll try and get a shot of it.
Alison Jane Rice says
We have Female & male satin bowerbirds in our garden in Leura NSW. They are breeding at the moment and it is lovely to watch their courtship. ONLY the males are black so you’re headline may confuse readers. The female has stunnning lilac eyes and beautiful shades of green & pale lemon in their feathers. As an artist, I am fortunate to have “resident” birdlife to draw and paint!