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Hawkbower

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Male hawkbower

The male hawkbower is more lightly built than the female.

The hawkbower, Dimorphoptilornis iniquitus, is a bowerbird from the tropical forest undergrowth of Australia. It is descended from the satin bowerbird.

Australian bowerbirds have always been noted for the fantastic structures built by the male for the purpose of wooing a female. The hawkbower is no exception. The bower itself is quite a modest affair, housing the permanent nest and a small altar-like structure at the entrance. While the female incubates the eggs, the male, a rather hawk-like bird, catches a small mammal or reptile and sets it on the altar. The offering is never eaten but serves as bait to attract flies, which are then caught by the female and fed to the male to ensure his continuing attention during the long incubation period. Once the eggs have hatched the chicks are fed on the fly larvae that have developed in the rotting carrion.

Female hawkbower

The male skewers caught prey outside the bower to attract flies.

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