Birds of Paradise
Manucodia (old Javanese (Malay) Manuk dewata = birds of the gods); ater (Latin, black)
Sexually monomorphic. Adult males, 38–42 cm; adult females, 33–37 cm. Plumage highly-glossed purple with blue and green highlights and some tightly curled or crinkled feathers, particularly on nape,throat and upper breast.
Mostly fruits, in particular figs, and also some flowers, insects and worms.
Lowland forest, swamp forest, forest edge, riverine and monsoon forests, mangroves, gardens and woodlands; sea level to low hills, less commonly to 1100 m.
Display season undefined; one display recorded in January. Male displays on tree branches, spreading and shaking wings and erecting body plumage.
Monogamous. Both sexes incubate, and attend to the nest and nestling. Breeding mostly August-March. Nests are deep pockets in slender vine tendrils. Incubation 14–18 days; nestling period more than 19 days. No hybridisation known.
Status and conservation
Not threatened; common but inconspicuous throughout range.
New Guinea: patchily throughout lowlands and on Aru, Samarai, Sariba, Mailu, Yule and Tagula Islands.
Michael Hugill , Online Producer (Content Strategy & Social Media)