King of Saxony Bird of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

King of Saxony Bird of Paradise

 © William T. Cooper

Common name

King of Saxony Bird of Paradise

Scientific name

Pteridophora alberti

Etymology

Pteridophora (Greek, carrying feathery-leafed fern = referring to specialised head feathers); alberti (named for Albert, King of Saxony).

Description

Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 22 cm (without head plumes); female, 20 cm. Adult male black head and upperparts, yellow underparts, cinnamon wing patches and two striking long erectile head plumes suggestive of enamel. Female grey brown above, pale beneath, marked with grey scalloping.

Diet

Mostly fruit.

Habitat

Mid montane and upper montane forests and the forest edgings, clearings and tracks; 1400-2850 m, mainly 1800-2500m.

Courtship

Polygynous. Solitary males sing from traditional perches in exploded leks. Displays performed during at least September-April. Male performs display postures and waves its flag plumes, singing to female and bouncing vine on which female is perched.

Breeding

Breeding possible all months but peaks about July-February. Females build and attend nests alone. Incubation period 22 days; nestling period and development unknown. No hybridisation known.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened; common in places.

Distribution

New Guinea: Western and central two-thirds of the central mountain ranges, from Weyland Range to Kratke Range.
 


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