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King Bird-of-Paradise - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Cicinnurus regius)
Photo © by dandsblair
Kwatu, West Papua, New Guinea, May 2012

Alternative name: Little King Bird-of-Paradise

Cicinnurus regius


Male 16cm (31cm including central tail-feathers), female 19cm. A very small, distinctive Bird-of-paradise


  • Crimson head, chin, breast and upperparts
  • Crimson-orange plush feathering over bill base
  • Small black spot above eye
  • Dark brownish-olive uppertail, central tail feathers reduced to fine bare red-brown shafts with dark-green spiral discs at end
  • Narrow dark-green breast-shield (can appear black)
  • Erectile fan-shaped olive-brown pectoral plumes with bright green tip
  • White remainings of underparts
  • Brownish eye
  • Ivory-yellow bill
  • Pale aqua-green mouth


  • Drab-coloured olive-brown upperparts
  • Longer tail than male
  • Variably buff underparts, finely and uniformely barred dark brown
  • Bill and legs duller than male


Found on New Guinea and some adjacent islands.
Locally fairly common.


Hybrids with Magnificent Bird-of-paradise recorded.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • C. r. regius patchily on mainland New Guinea (except northern parts), West Papuan Islands (Salawati, Misool) and Aru Islands
  • C. r. coccineifrons in northern New Guinea


Lowland rainforest and forest edge, also in disturbed areas and tall secondary forest. Occurs from sea-level up to 400m, sometimes up to 950m.



Feeds on fruits and arthropods. Joins mixed-species flocks with other Birds-of-Paradise.


Breeding season at least from March to October, probably in all months. A polygynous species. The male holds a court in thick forest, sometimes up to four males gather to form a lek. The display includes several static postures and a dance.
The female builds and attends the nest alone. One described nest was 2m above the ground in a tree hole. Lays 1 - 2 eggs.


Presumably a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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