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For the record

  • Who: Vogelkop gardener bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata)

  • What: Largest bowers built by bowerbirds

  • Where: Papua New Guinea

The bowerbirds of Australia and New Guinea are famous for the elaborate courtship bowers constructed and decorated by the males in order to attract females for mating purposes. The largest bowers are those of the Vogelkop gardener bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata) from New Guinea. These elaborate structures are conical and hut-like in appearance, some 160 cm (5 ft 2.99 in) across and 100 cm (3 ft 3.37 in) high, with an entrance normally propped up by a pair of column-like sticks, as well as a front lawn-like area several square metres in area. This ‘lawn’ is cleared of forest debris, and then decorated with bright, shiny objects such as brightly-coloured fruit, flowers, shiny beetle wingcases, and dead leaves. These are also placed in the entrance.


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