viernes, 7 de septiembre de 2012

Australian bowerbird

Self-study activity:
Watch this four-minute BBC video clip where David Attenborough gives us a few details about the intriguing behaviour of an Australian bird, the bowerbird.

Complete the blanks in the video with the missing words.

And this is the work of the master builder among bowerbirds. I'm in the Vogelkop on the far western tip of New Guinea and this is the bower of the Vogelkop bowerbird. And what an (1) ... it is! Surely one of the wonders of the natural world.
The bower has been completely roofed over, thatched with these stems of (2) ... . It's been built around the base of a sapling, it has a stark pillar right in the middle, and it's got two smaller pillars on the side, to support it. The whole of the treasury is five or six yards across. And what treasures it contains! Or what a variety of treasures it contains!
On the far side, there are the black (3) ... of tree ferns. Here is the lawn neatly planted with (4) ... , and on it, the shiny wing covers of beetles. There are orange fruits, there are these (5) ... orange dead leaves. These are the acorns of the tropical (6) ... which are common around here. Behind me, there are black fruits. All of which has been brought specially by the bird.
Bowerbirds are so dedicated to their work that even if you sit out in the open beside the bower they will often continue to work, provided you sit absolutely (7) ... .
This Vogelkop bowerbird is the plainest of his family, with no sign whatever of a crest. But the more spectacular the display in your bower, presumably the less need you have to impress your (8) ... with bright feathers. And it's difficult to imagine a more impressive collection of treasures than this. But they do have to be properly arranged to show them off really well.
Flowers, whenever they appear in the forest have an obvious (9) ... to a bird who has a passion for interior decoration. From one point of view, these adornments are better than feathers. Individual birds of paradise cannot choose their (10) ...  shape and colour. They have to display with what their (11) ... have given them. Bowerbirds, however, can choose. If a male decides that he stands a better chance of seducing a female with pink, rather than blue then he can decorate his bower that way. So it's the tastes and (12) ... of the females, single mothers, who have no need of the help of the male in bringing up their families, that has led to these extravagant exhibitions.
Whether or not the bowerbirds are closely related to the birds of paradise, both families have reacted in remarkably similar ways to the (13) ... they share - the huge richness of this forest.

astonishment 2 orchids 3 stems 4 moss 5 glowing 6 oaks 7 still 8 mate 9 appeal 10 plumes' 11 genes 12 fancies 13 asset