After settling into our accommodation in Alice Springs we went for lunch at the Botanic Gardens - and as soon as we got out of the car a rather strange looking bird landed on a picnic table next to us. I recognised it as a bowerbird of some sort, and rather quickly lost interest in lunch! The bird flew away, and I come not follow it. So, back to lunch.
As we were eating a rather fine BLT the bird came back to feed on its preferred food - the abandoned nacho. This was not a wilderness experience.
The bird in question is a Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata). The bird is found in two (probably) distinct populations - one in central Australia, and one in Western Australia. All of the birds in these pictures are from the central Australian population. I had a look around the area where I saw the birds, but I could not find any of there display bowers.
The pink path on the back of the neck of the bird as an 'erectile crest', that can be made to stand up - but I never saw that happen.
The next time I saw any of these birds was in (you've guessed it) the car park at Ormiston Gorge - a wonderful cool and shady place. This time the birds did seen to be looking for more natural food, but did not fail to notice the crumbs that fell from our sandwiches.
I dont know if the slight cocking of the head to one side is a typical pose - maybe they were just keeping an eye on me.
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