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Victoria's Riflebird

From Opus

Male displayingPhoto © by Mat & CathyCairns, Queensland, Australia, June 2006
Male displaying
Photo © by Mat & Cathy
Cairns, Queensland, Australia, June 2006

Alternative names: Queen Victoria's Riflebird; Victorian Riflebird; Lesser Riflebird

Ptiloris victoriae


[edit] Identification

Male 25cm (9¾ in), female 23cm (9 in). A fairly large Bird-of-paradise with a fairly long, decurved bill and a short tail.

[edit] Male

FemalePhoto © by peterdayAtherton Tableland Queensland, Australia, July 2019
Photo © by peterday
Atherton Tableland Queensland, Australia, July 2019
  • Mostly velvety jet-black plumage with rich silk-like purple/magenta sheen above
  • Greenish-blue to blue-green crown
  • Central pair of tail feathers metallic bluish-green
  • Metallic purple-washed greenish-blue triangular breast shield
  • Olive-grey to oily olive-green belly to undertail-coverts
  • Dark brown eye
  • Shiny black bill
  • Pale yellow gape
  • Bright yellow or lime-yellow mouth

[edit] Female

  • Smaller than male but with larger bill
  • Grey to grey-brown above with rufous panel on wing
  • Broad whitish superciliary stripe
  • Whitish chin and submoustachial area
  • Buff throat and upper breast, rich cinnamon below with small blackish chevron marks, becoming more bar-like on sides

Juveniles like females but with indistinctly barred (not spotted) underparts.

[edit] Similar species

Smaller than similar Paradise Riflebird, breast shield narrower and smaller and lower underparts more bronze-yellow. Females differ significantly.

Male. Compare breast shield with Paradise RiflebirdPhoto © by mthompsonPaluma rainforest, Queensland, Australia, August 2009
Male. Compare breast shield with Paradise Riflebird
Photo © by mthompson
Paluma rainforest, Queensland, Australia, August 2009

[edit] Distribution

Atherton Tableland region of northeastern Queensland, Australia.
Common in parts of its small range.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Has been considered conspecific with Magnificent Riflebird.

[edit] Habitat

Lowland and hill rainforest. Also in adjacent eucalyptus forest, edge of mangroves and gardens. Occurs from sea-level up to 1200m.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes insects, and fruit which they peel by holding the fruit with one foot and removing the skin with their bill. Takes also flower nectar.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season at least from August to February. A polygynous species. The male advertises by singing from several traditional perches and performs a similar display like Paradise Riflebird. The female builds and attends the nest alone.
The male displays by erecting the feathers of his throat and sides to accentuate the bright colours of his plumage, curving his rounded wings above his body and tilting his head back to expose his chin and throat to the light, and then moves from side to side. The nest is sometimes decorated with snake skin. 1 - 3 eggs are laid.

[edit] Movements

A resident species.

[edit] Vocalisation

The call is a loud yaars.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  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

[edit] External Links


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