I don’t know about you, but I would be mightily impressed by a guy who completely redecorates his home for a date with me. Turns out that male bowerbirds have wicked interior design skills, using soda cans, colorful plastic bags, CDs and all manner of flora and fauna to decorate their bachelor pads. (According to National Geographic, garlands of glistening caterpillar feces are quite appealing to the ladies).
The photos are pretty shocking: some of the detailed compositions (which can include towers up to seven feet high) look like they were made by human children with an eye for composition and color. Some blue-eyed birds only use blue objects to decorate their bowers (are they doing it because it sets off their eyes?) and others use mashed up plants to “paint” the bower interior, giving it a little visual pizzazz. But that’s not all! It turns out that the pulpy paint is also pretty tasty – female bowerbirds snack on it while the bachelor sings and dances for her.
This just gets better and better.
For those of you who are contemptuous of design (it’s just an unnecessary frill, right?) and think of it as a uniquely human folly, please consider the lesson of the bowerbird: humans aren’t the only ones who consider “life” and “style” in the same breath.