[A bower made of sticks, and with several red flowers and other items in front of it, sits on the forest floor. A male Vogelkop bowerbird flies in with another red flower and places it in front of the bower. He flies away, then hops back into view with an additional red flower for the collection. He hops back, looking at the flowers. He hops onto a vertical stick.] [Explore MacaulayLibrary.org]

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Why is this Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata) delivering flowers? Rather than being showy himself, he’s decorating the “lawn” of his twig hut with carefully chosen ornaments. This impressive structure is not a nest. It’s a bower—constructed and maintained for the sole purpose of impressing females. Local females regularly visit neighborhood bowers to compare design choices, then base their mating decisions on which displays make the best overall impression. For bowerbird males then, it’s the architectural skills that count. Vogelkop Bowerbirds are native to Western New Guinea.