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Papuan Scrubwren - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Olive Scrubwren; Papuan Sericornis

Sericornis papuensis


10 to 11.5 cm. A medium-sized scrubwren in high-elevation montane forest.

  • Ochraceous-buff forehead
  • Olive-brown to olive-green crown and upperparts
  • Browner upperwings
  • Chestnut-brown to olive-green tail with a dark brown subterminal bar
  • Ochraceous-buff face and narrow eyering
  • Paler and buffier ochraceous throat and upper breast
  • Variably pale buffy, buffy white or yellowish-white rest of underparts
  • Olive flanks

Sexes similar. Juveniles more olive-green to dark green.

Similar species

Smaller than Large Scrubwren, also lacks rusty colour on face and throat.


Endemic to the mountains of New Guinea.
Common in most of its range.


Three subspecies recognized:

  • S. p. meeki in western New Guinea (Jayawijaya Mountains)
  • S. p. buergersi from the Weyland Mountains to the Central Highlands and Sepik Mountains
  • S. p. papuensis in the mountains of southeast New Guinea


Moist montanes and secondary growth, often in low dense bushy trees alongside tracks.
Occurs mainly at 2000 to 3500 m, sometimes lower. Overlaps with Large Scrubwren and at lower elevations sometimes with Buff-faced Scrubwren.


Feeds on insects.
Forages on lower levels up to middle storey, only occasionally higher. Often well hidden inside dense vegetation. Usually seen alone or in small flocks of up to four birds.


Probably breeds mainly from July to October when it's less wet. The nest is a teardrop-shaped structure with a side entrnace and a small porch. It's made of green moss, dried leaves and feathers and placed 1.5 to 1.75 m above the ground, suspended from a scrambling bamboo. Lays one egg.


This is a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)

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