Parotia (Greek, curl of hair by the ear, alluding to plumes on head); helenae (named after Helena Ford, daughter of Australian oologist A Scott); common name refers to its geographical location relative to other members of the genus; also called Helena’s Parotia.
Sexually dimorphic. Male, 27 cm, female, 25 cm. Adult male entirely jet black except for bronze-brown stripe from lower forehead across base of upper bill, intense iridescent emerald green to greenish-yellow breast shield and three plumes like wires with expanded ends above and behind each eye. Adult female with black head, mottled throat and facial stripe, drab brown upperparts and tail, and barred underparts.
Primary montane forest; 500-1500m.
Presumably polygynous. Display not described but presumably similar to that of Lawes’ Parotia.
Breeding season unknown; nest with egg recorded early December.
Status and conservation
Not threatened; common in some locations.
Papua New Guinea: northern watershed of south-eastern ranges from Waria River to Milne Bay Valley.