The Great Bowerbird: Judbarra (Gregory) National Park

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

Norther brought to me

the cheeky Great Bowerbird!🐦

And a journey through the vast and fascinating Judbarra National Park!

The Great Bowerbird in Judbarra National Park

COMMON NAME: Great Bowerbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Chlamydera nuchalis

TYPE: Bird

DIET: Frugivores,they feed on fruits, flowers, green vegetables, nectar, seeds 

SIZE:  35 cm

Weight: M: 180-265 g – F: 153-215 g

Meet the spectacular Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis). With the males sporting their distinctive magenta crest at the back of his head and the nape of his neck. These birdies are easy to spot! 

The adult males have a brownish-grey plummage with darker underparts. The upperwings and tail are dark brown with whitish edges and tips. From the chin, throat and upper breast they are a slightly darker grey. (This is one grey bird!)

The eyes are dark brown. The powerful legs and feet are olive-brown. On the head, the crown is grey. The lores are darker and browner. The head can be finely spotted with silver and darker colours. Their signature crest is usually visible only during the displays. How spectacular!

The females have similar plumage and do not have a crest. They are smaller than their male counterparts. The younger Great Bowerbirds have spotted pale upper parts. The young male lacks the crest and has a dark throat and heavily barred brown-grey breasts.

Bowerbirds are mostly found in the Northern Territory from Broome across the Top End to Cape York Peninsula and as far south as Mount Isa! They are often considered loud. Its calls include some mimicry of other birds’ species and also human-made noises. (Cheeky little bird)

The calls are done in different situations for the males, they give them at the bower. The females however do it at the nest when feeling threatened or disturbed. (Go mama bird!) 

Why is the Great Bowerbird Known as Nature’s Most Stylish Bird?

The patterns the males place their objects in around the bower are very unique. This has earned the Great Bowerbird the nickname “nature’s great engineers.” The Bower is constructed with gathered twigs and objects like brightly colored shells, colored stones, fresh flowers, or insect skeletons! The impressive decorations and shiny objects are meant to attract females. The males are known to spend most of the day attending the bower in the breeding season where they may court several females. Bowerbirds are very particular about their creations so do not disturb them!

Baby Great Bowerbirds

The impressive birdies breed all year round and their peak egg-laying season is in October and November. The female builds the nest to lay her eggs. This nest is shaped like a cup, lined with twigs and leaves. 

The eggs are beautifully marked by some scribbly lines of brown, grey, purple, and black. These patterns are meant to help to camouflage the eggs. The mother takes care of the eggs and the little birds on her own until they go off all on their own after only three months!

What does the Great Bowerbird Eat?

The Great Bowerbird are frugivores, they feed on fruits, flowers, green vegetables, nectar, seeds and sometimes insects as well as food scraps. They forage in fruiting trees, bushes and on the ground. The male stores fruits at the bower site for later consumption. 

Nature’s most stylish birds sure are fascinating! Come, colour them in. Share this with your friends and see who can do the most creative design. Wanna feature your creation on our Instagram? Email us [email protected] and we’ll share the most creative creation on our Instagram page

Yours in adventure,

Have a Merry Norther Christmas 

Download The Great Bowerbird Colouring Page

Christmas – Judbarra

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Judbarra National Park

Judbarra National Park, formerly known as Gregory National Park, is located 359 km south of Darwin. This is the land of the Nungali, Malngin, Wardaman, Ngaliwurru and Bilinara, First Nations people. The park is huge, covering a whopping 13 000 km2. It has an Eastern and a Western side. 

The Eastern side of Judbarra National Park

The Eastern side of the park consists of trails, picnic areas and camping spots.

Eastern Section:

  • Escarpment Walk: 3 km return, expect 1.5 hours, moderate walk with some steep sections.
  • Joe Creek Picnic Area and Ngawibinbin Walk: expect a 1.7 km loop, 1 hour, moderate to difficult.
  • Matt Wilson Lookout and Campground is a steep and winding 4WD track, it is not ideal for caravans and some trailers. 
  • Sullivan Creek Campground is about  17 km east of the Victoria River Roadhouse, the camping facilities are basic and there are picnic spots as well. 
  • Victoria River Roadhouse is a commercial spit that has camping, accommodation, meals, fuel and limited supplies.

The Western side of Judbarra National Park

Western Section:

  • Gregory’s Tree: 500 m return, expect 30 minutes, short easy walk with wheelchair access.
  • Calcite Flow Walk: 600 m return, expect 30 minutes, short easy walk.
  • Limestone Ridge Loop Walk: 1.8 km loop, expect 1 hr ,moderate walk.
  • Big Horse Creek Campground located on the Victoria Highway, 10 km west of Timber Creek.The facilities here include toilets, fire places, picnic tables and limited drinking water.
  • Limestone Gorge Campground is 2 km from the Calcite Flow Walk car park along a 4WD track on a large boulder.
  • Lupayi Campground and Jasper Gorge.Located adjacent to a small creek and only a short 9 km drive to Jasper Gorge this is a great spot to camp.

Visiting Judbarra National Park?

Check Park road conditions by phoning the Parks and Wildlife offices listed below. Check other road conditions by phoning 1800 246 199, or visiting the NT Road Report website. 

Are your bags packed? We would love your feedback on this page – please comment below if you’ve been to Judbarra National Park or seen a Great Bowerbird!

Norther would like to invite you to explore more about the beauty of Judbarra National Park here. And… as always you can get more inspiration for other National Parks & Destinations to visit by following @northerhq or get your Judbarra National Park daily fix by visiting @judbarranationalpark.

*Cover image by tm_artphoto on Instagram. 

Picture of Norther


NORTHER ® provides encouragement for travellers to value, enjoy and explore the NT in a one-of-kind way so they can honour and respect culture through care and integrity.

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