IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Broad-winged and short-tailed parotia, Male nominate race is velvety jet-black, head adorned with erectile silver narial tuft atop basal half of upper mandible, immediately behind this a frontal crest of coppery-brown feathers, and with narrow nuchal bar of intensely iridescent blue to pink-purple scale-like feathers; behind each eye, from amid ear-tuft of elongate pointed feathers, three long erectile wire-like black occipital plumes with roughly circular spatu-late tips; mantle and back with silk-like sheen that appears coppery bronze and/or green in some lights, remaining upperparts, including tail, velvety jet-black with coppery-bronze sheen; primaries paler, more brownish-black, but exposed leading edges dully iridescent green in some lights; velvety jet-black chin and throat with iridescent sheen of purple, this grading into otherwise discrete breast shield of large intensely iridescent scale-like feathers bronzed metallic emerald-green to greenish-yellow and, in some lights, purple-magenta to bluish-violet (jet-black feather bases visible at lower side of shield), remaining underparts jet-black with coppery sheen; iris co-balt-biue with narrow pale cream-yellow outer ring (but bird can alter colour, from mostly blue to mostly yellow); bill shiny black, mouth lime-yellow to lime-green; legs purplish lead-grey. Female is smaller than male, lacking head plumes and iridesence, has distinctive brownish-black head with contrasting paler submoustachial stripe, dark malar stripe, upperparts mostly chestnut-brown, underparts regularly barred blackish, bill brownish-black, Juvenile undescribed; immature male like adult female but iris duller, more greyish to brownish; subadult male variable, like adult female with few adult male feathers intruding to like adult male but with few female-like feathers remaining, adult head plumage acquired first, when wings and tail similar to those of adult, and breast shield has coppery sheen, ralher than clearer green of fully plumaged male; male tail length decreases slightly in length with age. Race helenae differs from nominate in having nanal tuft of adult male bronzed brown, not silvery white, and female dorsal plumage slightly less russet.

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Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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