Birds of Paradise
Parotia (Greek, curl of hair by the ear); carolae (named after Queen Carola, wife of King Albert of Saxony).
Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 26 cm; female, 25 cm. Males have short erectile blackish-bronzed frontal head crest from nostril to eye and between eyes, chin has whisker-like feathers, throat paler with even longer whiskers, occipital plumes arise from above and behind eyes, upperparts velvety black with iridescent bronze sheen, underparts blackish brown centrally and dark reddish brown along sides, flanks with large patch of white feathers. Adult female brown upperparts with broad paler stripe above and behind eye, underparts light brown with dark brown barring.
Fruit and small animals, including insects.
Primary and secondary mid montane forests; also regrowth and abandoned gardens; 1100-2000 m, mainly 1450-1800m.
Polygynous. Males form exploded leks and display June-December. Male display includes crouching while raising and expanding white flank feathers, hopping on spot, changing direction faced each time, swaying in front of female fluttering wings, and bowing then standing upright and spreading flank feathers into ‘skirt’; dancing takes place on both ground and perch.
Breeding season undefined, probably at least September-October. Females build and attend nests alone. Incubation, nestling and development periods unknown. Known to hybridise with Superb Bird of Paradise.
Status and conservation
Not threatened; fairly common and widespread.
New Guinea: central ranges from Weyland Range east to Giluwe and Hagen Ranges, Sepik-Wahgi Divide, Schrader and Bismarck Ranges, Crater Mountain and Mount Bosavi.
Michael Hugill , Online Producer