Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus), New South Wales, Australia
A male Regent Bowerbird perched on a branch. The bird's plumage is jet black with bright golden yellow on the head, nape and wings. The Regent Bowerbird lives in the sub-tropical rainforests of Eastern Australia and was named in honour of the Prince of Wales, who was Prince Regent (1811-1820) in the reign of George III. Bowerbirds are so called because they build decorative bowers, or shelters, to attract female mates. They mix a pea green "saliva paint" in their mouths which they use to decorate their bowers and will sometimes use leaves as "paintbrushes" to help spread the substance, representing one of the few known instances of tools used by birds. They then decorate them with shells, seeds, leaves and berries. Collected by Mrs Moor in 1909.
© RIC, photographer Mike Searle