The paper clip suitor, Tim Laman, USA, 2011

Tim Laman/Unforgettable Behavior
October 28, 2021
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bird carries paperclip to nest
Tim Laman/Unforgettable Behavior
The paper clip suitor Tim Laman, USA 2011

Male great bowerbirds are famous for collecting random items to tempt a prospective mate. Living in northern Australia, they accumulate materials as diverse as pebbles, snail shells, vertebrae, rifle shells, CDs and, in this instance, a pink paper clip. The males will also boost their haul by stealing from each other. After enticing a female to enter his bower—a bivouac of twigs—a male will choose one of his prized decorations and strut back and forth in front of the entrance, showing off to her. “This is the female’s view from inside the bower, with the eager male, mid-strut, peering back at her,” Laman said.

Technical specification: Canon EOS-1D + 300mm f2.8 lens + 1.4x extender; 1/45 sec at f8; ISO 640; flash

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