The paper-clip suitor wall print
Male bowerbirds are famous for collecting various random items to tempt a prospective mate with. Few, though, match the great bowerbird’s eclectic taste. Living in northern Australia, the male accumulates artifacts as diverse as pebbles, snail shells, vertebrae, rifle shells, CDs and, in this instance, a pretty pink paper clip.
Not only do the males use their stash to impress the females, but they will also boost their haul by stealing from each other. After enticing a female to enter his bower – a ‘bivouac’ of twigs – a male will choose one of his prized decorations and strut back and forth in front of the entrance, showing off to her.
Tim photographed this bower in a surprisingly public place, the campus of James Cook University, Queensland, and got down low to get a bowerbird’s perspective of the display. ‘This,’ he says, ‘is the female’s view from inside the bower, with the eager male, mid-strut, peering back at her.’