Sunday Sketch: Build it and they will come

Many birds rely on their physical attractiveness to find mates. Although by no means schlubby, male bowerbirds also build elaborate “bowers” (architectural displays made with twigs and many other items) to court their potential mates. Shown in today’s sketch is an avenue bower, a particular type of bower with two vertical walls and a broad base. Often times one of the avenue openings is decorated with extra items to create an additional display. Bowerbirds will even use manmade objects for decoration, and they are notorious for stealing coins, bottle caps, and pieces of glass, among other items, for their display.

Sketch by Megan McElligott (@MeganM_McE on twitter). Fact by Adrian Perez


Borgia, G., 1986. Sexual selection in bowerbirds. Scientific American254(6), pp.92-101.

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