Like other bowerbird species, Spotted Bowerbirds make a wide variety of weird and wonderful sounds from buzzes, mechanical churrs, crackles, rasps, whistles, flutters and even mimicry of other bird species. Interestingly, when in the presence of a human or potential predator, Spotted Bowerbirds often mimic the sounds of predatory birds or the alarm calls of other species, evidently to repel the intruder.
Less colourful than many of it’s Bowerbird cousins, the Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) is mainly brown with some pale yellow on the belly, and a pattern of buff orange spots on it’s back, wings and rump. What it lacks in colour is made up for by it’s bower decorations and fantastic calls!
Listen to Spotted Bowerbird Sounds
The audio in the video below features a variety of typical calls of the Spotted Bowerbird. I had left my microphones for a few hours near an active bower, and recorded a range of calls as the owner attended to his decorations and displayed to visiting females.
Spotted Bowerbird – Calls at bower
XC287089 Variety of calls from two birds at bower. Recorded near Cunnamulla, Queensland.
Spotted Bowerbird – Mimicry of Whistling Kite
XC287086 An example of the excellent mimicry capabilities of this species. Amongst the typical calls in this audio sample is a fine imitation of the call of a Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus). Recorded near Cunnamulla, Queensland.
Bower of a Spotted Bowerbird decorated with bones, bark and kangaroo dung!