As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Study shows male bowerbirds manipulate female color perception

( —A trio of researchers in Australia has found that there is more to bowerbird bowers and colored objects used by the males than has been previously thought. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how in their study of bowerbird behavior and bower structure they discovered that activities by the males can lead to manipulation of the perception of color by the female.

Birds are notorious for their mating rituals, with males typically endowed with colorful plumage prancing for the attention of females. In this new effort, the researchers took a closer look at the mating rituals of bowerbirds who are famous for their elaborately constructed bowers.

Bowers are stage-like creations made from sticks and other material, by the male—they serve to provide a place for the male to dance and display an assortment of objects he's collected for observation by the female. The bower has three main components, two courts and an avenue. The courts are areas where the male performs while the female watches from the avenue in the center. The entire exercise, the researchers note, appears to be designed to capture and then hold the attention of the female.

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