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Brilliant Birds

Paradise Riflebird

This loud calling, but seldom seen, bird is related to the bird of paradise group of Papua New Guinea. The male uses its very elaborate plumage and mating displays to attract the females. In spring, the male displays and calls from a chosen branch high in the canopy, producing a slow drawn out ‘yaaarss’, which can be heard above all other birds. Ask one of our guides to identify their latest performance area where, if you are patient, you’ll get a glimpse of this spectacular bird – the emblem of our Reserve. Sexual dimorphism (gender differences in colour etc) is very apparent in most riflebirds and birds of paradise. The dull brown and grey female wraps a snake skin around her nest, perhaps to scare away predators.

(Illustrations by Jane Thompson)

Ptiloris paradiseus 28 - 30cm

paradise rifle birds

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