Family Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Least Concern

Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)


French: Jardinier satiné German: Seidenlaubenvogel Spanish: Pergolero satinado

Pyrrhocorax violaceus


, 1816,

“Nouvelle-Hollande”[= Sydney, New South Wales], Australia


Two documented records of hybridization with Sericulus chrysocephalus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. v. minor A. J. Campbell, 1912 – wet tropics of NE Queensland (from Mt Amos, just S of Cooktown, S to Seaview–Paluma Range), in E Australia.
  • P. v. violaceus (Vieillot, 1816) – SE Queensland (Dawes Range, just S of Fitzroy R at Rockhampton) S in coastal zone (less than 250 km broad at widest point) to S Victoria (Otway Range, immediately W of Melbourne).
  • Descriptive notes

    32·5 cm; male 173–290 g, female 170–258 g. Male nominate race is entirely glossy indigo-blue, showing violet highlights to black in some lights; glossy... read more


    Bower-advertisement song of adult male a clearly whistled "quoo-eeeew"; also loud harsh churring... read more


    Rainforest, with strong preference for edges, also woodland, adjacent tall sclerophyll woodlands... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fruits, but some flowers (petals, stamens and nectar), leaves, seeds, and animals (mostly insects). Nestling diet 95% insects,... read more


    Season late Aug/Sept–Jan, egg-laying peak Nov–Dec, young leave nest by late Feb, cycle lasts c. 3·5 months; display... read more


    Mainly resident. Some individuals, particularly those in woodlands, move into more open habitats... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to reasonably abundant in remaining habitat. Much habitat already lost to human exploitation, and some populations in decline. Otway Range... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 February 2020).