NOVA news minutes

Welcome to the companion Web site to "Flying Casanovas," originally broadcast on Tuesday, December 25, 2001. The program, with Sir David Attenborough narrating, celebrates the extraordinary antics male bowerbirds get up to when courting a female. Here's what you'll find online:
  • On the Trail of the Bowerbird
    Charles Darwin speculated on the function of bowers, but few scientists had conducted studies of these ornate constructions and their builders until the University of Maryland's Dr. Gerald Borgia began shadowing bowerbirds in 1980. Herewith, his tales from two decades in the field.

  • Are Bowers Art?
    Bowers in many cases are so meticulously designed, masterfully built, and color coordinated that at least one leading naturalist of the 19th century thought they were built by a race of pygmies. Do they constitute works of art? Send us your thoughts. We'll post selected submissions.

  • Creature Courtship
    In the animal kingdom, male bowerbirds are far from alone in going out of their way to attract females. Why do males expend such time and energy to find a mate? Because of a little force of nature known as sexual selection.

  • Bowerbird Matching Game (Hot Science)
    Five different species of male bowerbirds have become separated from their nests. It's up to you to place each species in its proper bower, and to match him with his mate.
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide

To learn more about upcoming NOVA features, join our mailing list.

Photo credits

On the Trail of the Bowerbird | Are Bowers Art? | Creature Courtship
Bowerbird Matching Game | Resources | Teacher's Guide | Transcript | Site Map

NOVA Online | Search | Site Map | Previously Featured | Schedule | Feedback | Teachers | Shop
Editor's Picks | Join Us/E-mail | About NOVA | Watch NOVAs online | To print

  NOVA Online is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit
Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation, and Sprint.

WGBH, PBS, Park Foundation, The Northwestern Mutual Foundation, and Sprint

© | created December 2001
Shop Teachers Feedback Schedule Previously Featured Site Map Search NOVA Home Northwestern Mutual Foundation Sprint PBS WGBH /wgbh/nova/teachers/programs/2818_bowerbir.html /wgbh/nova/bowerbirds/resources.html /wgbh/nova/bowerbirds/courtship.html /wgbh/nova/bowerbirds/art.html /wgbh/nova/bowerbirds/match.html /wgbh/nova/bowerbirds/trail.html