The Bowerbird: A Man That Aims to Please His WomanBiology
Few creatures appear more focused upon pleasing their mates than the male bowerbird. These men toil and labor to have the privilege of a companion, and they produce some interesting works of art in an attempt to woo females and begin a courtship. The male bowerbird nearly appears to anthropomorphize itself; it takes little imagination for the bird's sophisticated flirtation to appear nearly human. Bowerbirds spend days and often weeks perfecting their nest into a work of art to try to capture the attention of potential female mates. There is nothing random about a bowerbird nest; each item is meticulously selected for maximum charm (and visibility), and the bird will often change its mind and rip apart the nest in order to replace items that it considers more effective. Bowerbirds love color, and as the photo at bottom indicates, they will happily use anything to advertise their potential as a mate, including bright green glass, colored plastic soda caps and pieces, and apparently even silk panties! The YouTube movie below shows some of the typical behavior of the bowerbird around his nest.
The bowerbird is all about presentation. He covets the female's attention to such a degree that he would do anything to make his nest more attractive. He searches constantly in pursuit of new shiny and colorful trinkets that might do a better job attracting a mate. Bowerbirds are the true love machines of nature. Their nest is so important that it is referred to as a "bower," and the birds are named after it! But bowerbirds don't stop there. For the woman of their dreams, they practice a courtship ritual in which they can imitate various things in nature and even perform a song!
Bowerbird males reach maturity at around halfway through their lives, and they spend much of this time perfecting their skills in interior decor, matchmaking, marketing, interpretive dance, and soloist vocals. Competition is cutthroat, however, and many men never manage to find a female companion. The younger males that are successful rarely ever manage to find more than one since they are unable to compete with the charm and swagger of older males in their early lives. Experience pays off, however, and older bowerbirds who have honed their skills may have the opportunity to mate many times in a single season. Bowerbirds certainly put on a good show for their hoped-for mates, and they provide some entertaining footage. They may also be able to teach us men a thing or two about making our women happier!