Bowerbirds can only be found in Australia and New Guinea. Evolution has implemented a unique courtship display for each of the 20 species. The males build avenues, may trees and huts especially for the time of courtship. Each species also decorates those structures with objects following a specific color scheme. The females observe the process from surrounding trees, while the males create and decorate the structures in their very own "arena", as if they were performing on stage. The choice of partner is made by the females according to the quality of construction, the decorating effort and the successful "theft" of decorative objects from other male rivals. The exhibition shows all types of bowerbirds including their courtship structures in their original scale. In addition, it takes a look at the misleading humanization of animal behavior and combines the fascination with aesthetics in the animal kingdom with the discussion about intelligence and intent of animal activity.
Text: State Museum Nature and Man Oldenburg
Concept/Editing: Dr. Christina Barilaro, Michael Demanowski
Created on the basis of: Laubenvögel. Ein Leben auf der Bühne. Katalog zur Ausstellung im Landesmuseum Natur und Mensch Oldenburg vom 10. Juni 2017 bis 18. Februar 2018. Isensee Verlag, 2017.
© State Museum Nature and Man Oldenburg