Macgregors bowerbird

Amblyornis macgregoriae taxonomy

Amblyornis macgregoriae De Vis, 1890, Musgrave River, Papua New Guinea. Seven subspecies.

other common names

English: Macgregor's gardenerbird, gardener bowerbird, crested gardener bird, yellow-crested gardener; French: Jardinier de Macgregor; German: Goldhaubengärtner; Spanish: Capulinero de Macgregor.

physical characteristics 10.2 in (26 cm); female 0.23-0.31 lb (104-140 g), male 0.22-0.32 lb (100-145 g). Brown with lighter head and under-parts; distinctive long red crest.


Endemic to mountains of eastern and central New Guinea; widespread on central cordillera, west to Weyland Mountains,

Irian Jaya, and on the Adelbert Range, the Huon Peninsula, and Mount Bosavi. Occurs mostly at 5,250-7,540 ft (1,600-2,300 m) altitude. A. m. macgregoriae: W. Kukukuku and Herzog Range east to western Owen Stanley Range; A. m. mayri: Weyland Mountains, Irian Jaya, to eastern Star/western Hindenburg Mountains; Amblyornis m. lecroyae: Mount Bosavi; A. m. kombok: Kubor, Hagen, and Bismarck Ranges, probably west to at least Strickland River or Hindenberg Range and east to Kraetke Range; A. m. amati: Adelbert Mountains; A. m. germanus: Huon Peninsula; A. m. nubicola: Simpson-Dayman massifs, eastern Owen Stanley Range, probably west to Mount Suckling.


Primary tall mixed montane and Nothofagus rainforest. behavior

Traditional bower sites are regularly and linearly spaced along forested ridges. The maypole bower consists of a conical tower of sticks built about a sapling or tree fern trunk surrounded at its base by a circular moss mat raised at its circumference into an elevated rim. Bower may be used for 20 or more years. Decorations include insect frass, charcoal, fungus, tree resin, mammal dung, fruits, and leaves. Bowers maintained for nine to ten months annually, with peak display during August through December. Advertisement vocalizations include harsh tearing sounds, growls, thuddings, tappings, whistles, and much vocal mimicry including human-made sounds.

feeding ecology and diet

Primarily frugivorous, taking fruits from numerous trees, shrubs, and vines. Also eats flower parts and insects.

reproductive biology

Polygynous, with promiscuous adult males and exclusively female nest attendance. Breeding season variable across the species range. Typically builds bulky open cup nest in pan-danus tree crown 6.6-10 ft (2-3 m) above ground. Nest is composed of a sparse stick foundation, a leafy cup, and an eggcup lining of supple twiglets/rootlets. Lays a single, pale, unmarked, buff egg. One known incubation period was over 17 days. Nestling period unknown.

conservation status

Not threatened. Common and widespread throughout range. significance to humans

Papuans admire the industry/artistry of males at their bowers. By placing a leaf on a bower mat, men and women used the bower mat clearing behavior of males to indicate to them in which direction they might seek a spouse. Crests of adult males may be worn as personal adornment. ♦

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