IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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Large parotia with long, wedge-shaped tail often cocked slightly upward or to the side. Male is entirely velvety jet-black, head decorated with distinctively large erectile narial tuft of elongate coppery bronzed feathers and narrow nuchal bar of intensely iridescent blue to pink-purple scale-like feathers; behind each eye, from amid ear-tuft of elongate narrowly pointed feathers, three long erectile wire-like bare occipital plume shafts with spatulate tips of normal black feather web; mantle to uppertail with slight plum-purple sheen; velvety black chin and throat with slight purple iridescence, this grading into otherwise discrete breast shield of large scale-like feathers intensely iridescent bronzed emerald-green to green-yellow and. in some lights, purple, magenta to bluish-violet (Jet-black feather bases visible on lower side of shield), remaining underparts jet-black with plum-purple sheen; iris cobalt-blue, comparatively broad pale greenish-cream outer ring; bill shiny black; legs purplish lead-grey. Female is smaller than male (no overlap in wing length), lacking head plumes and iridesence; cryptically coloured brown above, with brownish-blackish head, off-white superciliary stripe originating from behind eye, and broad submoustachial stripe flecked blackish-grey, bordered below by comparatively narrow blackish malar stripe, chin and throat whitish-grey, flecked and barred brownish-black, grading to remaining underparts of brown-cinnamon, uniformly barred brownish-black. Juvenile undescribed; immature male like adult female, but iris as adult male; first-year plumage has pointed rectrices and lacks indentation on ninth primary (present on adult); male tail length slightly decreases with age.

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© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

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