Wallace’s Standardwing

Birds of Paradise

Standardwing Bird of Paradise

Standardwing Bird of Paradise
Photographer:  © William T. Cooper

Common name

Wallace’s Standardwing

Scientific name

Semioptera wallacii


Semioptera (Greek, combination of military standard and wing, referring to plumes on wings); wallacii (named after naturalist and collector AR Wallace); also known as Standardwing Bird of Paradise.


Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 26 cm long; adult female, 23 cm. Male has odd-shaped bill with prominent upper ridge, buffy forehead tuft and large green breast shield, short central tail feathers and pale ‘standards’ (long plumes on the wings). Female lacks standards and green breast shield.


Fruit and arthropods.


Lowland rainforests and rarely in mature secondary woodland; 0-1000 or 1150m on various islands, mainly above 250m.


Polygynous. Display season about April-December. Males display in leks across several adjacent trees. Courtship involves males converging on each other, displaying their standards, then one at a time making short ascending flight, followed with static postures and vibrating wings, causing standards to wave in many directions.


Breeding occurs at least May-September. Females build and attend to nests alone. Incubation, nestling and development unknown. Not expected to hybridise with other species.

Status and conservation

Not threatened; relatively common in some areas, although much of habitat has been destroyed elsewhere; monitoring required.


Indonesia: Northern Moluccas: islands of Halmahera, Bacan and Kasiruta.

Michael Hugill , Online Producer (Content Strategy & Social Media)
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