IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Male nominate race has velvety jet-black head with coppery-bronze sheen, short erectile blackish-bronzed frontal crest tipped silver-white, jet-black elongate and vertically raised loral and foreface feathering from nostril to above eye; eye broadly encircled by iridescent coppery-gold feathering; feathering on slightly concave crown similar to that around eye, and immediately behind this a narrow nuchal bar of highly iridescent scale-like feathers that appear blue-green to purple and-'or magenta; behind each eye, from amid ear-tuft of elongate narrowly pointed feathers, three long erectile wire-like occipital plumes with relatively small spatulate tips; mantle to uppertail velvety jet-black with coppery-bronze sheen, including upperwing the same except for primaries and coverts, which brownish-black; chin dusky olive-brown, smudged blackish, with paler tips of elongate ""whiskers"" surrounded by malar area and throat of buff with golden sheen; lower central throat more whitish, flecked cinnamon, with fine long whiskers on each side, grading into otherwise discrete breast shield of large scale-like feathers with intense iridescence of bronzed yellow-green and/or magenta to pink (jet-black feather bases visible on lower side of shield); remaining central underparts, to undertail-coverts, blackish-brown with iridescent lustrous coppery sheen, becoming browner to dark reddish-brown adjacent to extensive patch of cotton-white elongate and inwardly curving flank plumes; iris sulphur-yellow; bill black, mouth colour apparently pale green; legs blackish-grey. Female is smaller than male (notably in wing length) but with tail longer; lacks head plumes and iridescence; plumage very different, brownish to grey-brown head with broad supercilium, moustachial and submoustachial stripes dirty white, flecked olive-brown, some paler flecks extending onto anterior ear-coverts, malar area olive-brown, upperparts and tail brown, upperwing with ochraceous chestnut area on exposed parts of flight-feathers and outer greater coverts, chin faintly barred greyish-brown, throat paler, underparts buff with blackish-brown barring; iris pale grey or cream to yellow (difference possibly age-related}, but confirmation required. Juvenile undescribed; immature male tike adult female, but iris pale grey; subadult male variable, like adult female but with few feathers of adult male plumage intruding, initially on head, to like adult male with few feathers of femalelike plumage remaining; male tail length decreases considerably with age. Race meeki is like nominate in size and appearance, but bill slightly larger, and chin and side of throat blackish; chalcothorax is like nominate, but occipital plumes significantly longer, upperparts with bright coppery sheen, underparts more coppery, and long loral feathering more brownish (less intensely black); clelandiae is like nominate, but upperparts darker, more jet-black (less brown), and on average larger, bill slightly shorter, and with longer occipital plumes (almost no overlap in length with nominate); chrysenia has tail longer than all other races, occipital plumes longer than all except chalcothorax, said to differ from nominate in having long black loral feathering with coppery sheen (like eyering but darker), but several specimens lack this (their lores being pure black). Females vary subtly with race, notably in extent of pale facial stripes and in overall colour saturation; further study required.

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© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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