Regent bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)—Painting by Albert E. Gilbert

Any of approximately 20 bird species constituting the passerine family Ptilonorhynchidae, of Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands. The male builds an elaborate structure (the bower) on the ground, decorates it with bright and shiny objects, and displays and sings loudly above it; females visit him and then lay their eggs in simple nests nearby. The mat, or platform, type of bower is a thick pad of plant material. The maypole type is a hut (sometimes as large as a child's playhouse) of twigs erected around one or more saplings in a cleared court. The avenue type consists of two close-set parallel walls of sticks on a circular mat of twigs. See also catbird.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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