Ian’s Bird of the Week – Victoria’s Riflebird

Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian

Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Victoria’s Riflebird ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 8/21/11

I’m on my way to Iron Range and this may be my last internet connection, so here is a hasty posting which I’ll keep brief. In keeping with the spirit of the search for the Trumpet Manucode, here is one of the other 3 Australian Birds of Paradise, the Victoria’s Riflebird, which is found in the Wet Tropics between Cooktown and Townsville. The males, as in photo 1, are quite spectacular with iridescent purplish black plumage highlighted with blue and a yellow gape as the final touch. The feathers have a satiny texture which rustles audibly in flight like an elaborate ball gown.

The females look quite different, and are beautiful in a more sober style as in the second photo.
Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian - female

Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian - female

The bird in the third photo is a young male, like the female but just beginning to acquire the hummingbird-like reflective plumage on the head.
Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian - young male

Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) by Ian - young male

As you’d expect from a bird of paradise, the promiscuous male has a spectacular display in which curves the wings in a circle around the head and moves them back and forward like a fan. Unfortunately, I haven’t photographed this yet. Conforming to the inverse avian correlation between beauty in appearance and voice, the Riflebird, as suggested by its name, has a harsh call that would shatter crystal at a hundred yards and is often the first indication that these birds are present.
Like many fruit-eating birds, they are hard to spot in the foliage of trees but they come readily to houses if fruit is left out for them. All these photos were taken in such circumstances around Paluma north of Townsville and the birds are quite common in suitable habitat.
Unlike the Riflebirds, and again as indicated by the name, the Trumpet Manucode has a spectacular and strange call, which I’ll be listening for carefully if I get to Iron Range in a day or two.
Best wishes
Ian


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au


Lee’s Addition:

This fantastic bird is in the Bird of Paradise – Paradisaeidae Family of the Passeriformes Order. Ian has a Magnificent Riflebird, the Victoria’s and the Paradise Riflebird on his website.

Thought you might enjoy seeing a Victoria’s Riflebird displaying. YouTube by vanityvehicle.

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:42-43 KJV)

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