As Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat is directly adjacent to Lamington National Park and Springbrook National Park, it's a hot spot for birdwatching. In one three-hour morning session, 41 species were sighted and identified.
This bird list has been compiled from observations made on and around our property by Judy and Ralph Kraemer since 1989. Bird names are according to the Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds by Peter Slater.
Satin bowerbirds live in the rainforest of Crystal Creek but to actually see one is rare, so we were delighted when we saw a young male foraging in the seed we leave daily on our deck.
Satin Bowerbirds are named after the beautiful dark sheeny plumage of the male, who is best known for his habit of collecting blue objects. In urban areas clothes pegs are the usual target, but in the rainforest, the blue tail feathers of Crimson Rosellas are a prized favourite. Decorations can also be violets, purples or occasionally even lime-coloured.
A bower is not a nest – these are built well above ground by the female bowerbird – it is a courting space built of fine twigs and maintained and decorated fastidiously by a single blue male. It's also the scene of fierce competition as neighbouring males will attempt to destroy the bower and pinch the twigs or decorations for their own bowers.
Bowerbirds are omnivorous, feeding on animal and plant material including seeds, fruit, flowers and nectar. They also love fresh green leafy vegetables, which can bring them into conflict with gardeners.