Monday, 19 October 2015

Jazz in the Key of Blue

He builds a U-shaped bower of sticks on the forest floor into which he hopes to lure a female, but brown twigs on a brown floor aren't very eye-catching so he jazzes up the scene with an array of objects, from berries and bottle-tops to clothes pegs and even ballpoint pens. All have one thing in common: they are blue. This penchant for blue objects develops as the birds mature. Younger males will include other colours in their displays.

The male dances around his bower to attract the greenish females, often holding something blue to impress her. As he poses he calls enticingly to advertise his prowess. Researchers have found that young female Satin Bowerbirds are more likely to be impressed by bowers whereas a more experienced female tends to choose the best dancer.

Radio 4 "Tweet of the Day" Ptilonorhynchus violaceus the Satin Bowerbird.

This is where I am going wrong. "Woss all them twigs for. Scritched me ankle they done." Thus many a lady on entering my - ahem - bower, as 'twere. I need to strew around some blue things, but also a few red or green ones so she won't think I'm positively ancient.

Dancing; my elastic went a quarter of a century ago, so it will have to be the young beginner, la giovin principiante, that I attempt to lure. Mostly.

The chap up top has also a ten-dollar bill to display, in all circumstances a winning strategy. "Never mind the chit-chat, flash 'em the wedge" as my old mentor "Roving Cocksman" Ron Todger used to say. His surname was often an élément clé de la conversation, as indeed was his todger. But I digress.

Could be Ron himself at work here and, yes, the females always did look a little greenish after one or three of his Sex Up Yer Bum, a gin cocktail of his own devising. Here's another entry for the old catalogo quesco.

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