Whereas many other birds sport flashy colors on their feathers to attract mates, bowerbirds are dull and brown like us. They must therefore accumulate their flashiness instead - also like us.
Males build elaborate huts, then decorate them with enormous collections of shiny and colorful trinkets. Depending on individual tastes they may choose to adorn their premises with piles of berries, stones, dead beetles, nice looking leaves, glass, brightly colored trash, and so on. The birds' collections are fastidiously arranged and maintained.
With their goods on display, the males await the arrival of females, whose role it is to assess their assorted items. On the basis of the aesthetic quality of a male's possessions, the female chooses whether to mate with him... or to fly on in search of sexier piles.
Photos by Tim Laman for National Geographic. More here.