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Common / Scientific Name

Paradise Riflebird “Ptiloris paradiseus”

Description

Paradise Riflebird is a medium size bird of the family Paradisaeidae. Earlier, it was a member of the genus Ptiloris. Then it has been moved to the genus Lophorina. He moves his head rhythmically from side to side, bill open to flash the lime-yellow mouth while raising and lowering his wings to produce a sharp, rustling sound.
When a female arrives at the display bough, the male becomes even more animated. He encircles her with outstretched wings and claps their tips together repeatedly as he dances backward and around with her. Young males changing into adult plumage don color irregularly over body, wings, and tail over a year or so. They do not appear to start this until at least three years old.
This is a frugivorous and insectivorous bird. Quiet and solitary in their feeding, Paradise Riflebirds forage over upper branches like big tree creepers, hopping along and probing into crevices and under bark and ruffling through hanging litter for spiders and insects and their larvae.
They work from tree to tree, flying in direct undulations under the canopy. Profusely fruiting trees attract them in two and three to feed in their crowns, where the birds pick methodically and hang acrobatically. A sedentary bird migrates from wet rainforests to nearby sclerophyll forests with a low population density.
Paradise Riflebird is a medium size bird of the family Paradisaeidae. Earlier, it was a member of the genus Ptiloris. Then it has been moved to the genus Lophorina.
Paradise Riflebird is a medium size bird of the family Paradisaeidae. Earlier, it was a member of the genus Ptiloris. Then it has been moved to the genus Lophorina. Photo Credit –

Identification

Paradise Riflebird is about 280-300 mm in length. The male bird is slightly larger, but shorter in the bill. The male crown is iridescent metallic green; upperparts are velvety black with purple tones; wings black with a papery texture. The tail is short, square, and black with metallic green on the upper surface of two central feathers.
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The chin to the upper breast is velvety black with a small central triangular gorger of metallic green. The rest of the underparts are black, the feathers broadly edged with V-shaped iridescent oil-green, and the eyes are dark brown. The bill is black and mouth lime-yellow with black feet.
Female bird dead and tail is gray-brown with fine streaks of pale buff and cream eyebrows. The upperparts are mid-brown with rufous wash on flight feathers and tail. Also, the underparts buff-cream, plain on the throat, marked with large black crescents and chevrons on breast and belly and with bars on flanks and undertail with dusky bill and feet is slate-grey. However, the immature birds are adult females and with shorter-billed and grey-brown feathers.

Call / Sound / Song  

Paradise Riflebird call is raucous, explosive, long-drawn rasping yaa-a-a-ss, lasting two seconds and probably uttered by both sexes. But mostly by males, to declare themselves and identify their territory in the breeding season. Also long, mellow, slurred whistle. The Paradise Rifle bird song is soft rasps and churrs in the display.

Habitats

The Paradise Riflebird habitat is mid-eastern coastal Australian rainforests are among the few birds of paradise occurring outside Papua New Guinea. Males advertise themselves during breeding with strident calls from display perches. Habitually, it is residing in the rainforest canopy, more than 1,650 ft in elevation, sometimes move to lower elevations to 650 ft in winter.  

Breeding

Like other birds of paradise, they are polygynous. The males expend their breeding energy in the flamboyant display while the females build the nests. She incubates the eggs for 18 to 19 days, and nestling’s time is at least 21 to 22 days. She also rears the young without male assistance. The male Riflebird holds not a breeding territory, but a display territory in the form of one or more thick, horizontal branches high above the ground in a tall forest tree.
There he spends much of the day, either calling or in the solitary display. When displaying he extends and fans his wings upwards, flings back his head to show the metallic, slightly erectile feathers on his throat, and throws out the glistening scalloping on his belly and flanks into a circle.

Related Article – Greater Bird of Paradise

Nesting

The breeding season is from September to January. They build the nest in a rough, bulky bowl of broad dry leaves, palm fronds, bark, and twigs. Sometimes paper; bound with vine tendrils, about 210 mm across x 120 mm deep; outside, especially rim. Also, sometimes decorated with green fern fronds, moss, orchids, and sloughed snakeskin; lined with finer leaves and fiber placed in a mass of vines or leafy branchlets well up in forest canopy 5-30 m above ground.
Eggs: usually two; lustrous rich pink-cream, boldly and uniformly marked and striped with chestnut-red, purple-brown, and gray; oval, about 36 x 24 mm. Incubation, 15-16 days, by the female. Young fledge in about four weeks.

Distribution

This gorgeous bird is endemic from eastern Australia to NSW to QL. It is inhabited to subtropical rainforests between Berserker Range and room a bit Tops, Qld, to Gloucester and Barrington Tops, Rockhampton (Calliope Range), New South Wales.  

Similar species

The glorious plumage Victoria’s Riflebird is a related species and occurs in North-Eastern Queensland.

Diet

Paradise Riflebird’s diet consists of fruits, insects, and spiders.

Status

The bird population is stable, however, substantial areas of habitat are lost to clearing.
The Paradise Riflebird habitat is mid-eastern coastal Australian rainforests are among the few birds of paradise occurring outside Papua New Guinea.
The Paradise Riflebird habitat is mid-eastern coastal Australian rainforests are among the few birds of paradise occurring outside Papua New Guinea. Photo Credit – Wikimedia
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