Video of 39 Species of Bird-of-paridise by Lab of Ornithology

Lesser Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor) ©©

Lesser Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor) ©©

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10 KJV)

Here is a  video of 39 species of Bird-of-Paridise by Lab of Ornithology. They just released it and thought you might enjoy seeing them. There are more YouTubes of them also at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Bird-of-Paradise belong to the Paradisaeidae – Birds-of-paradise Family.

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Enjoy!

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Magnificent Riflebird

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

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

Newsletter – 9/12/11

We’ve been dealing with Birds of Paradise for the last couple of birds of the week, so here’s another one from Iron Range, the Magnificent Riflebird. This, like the Trumpet Manucode is easier to hear than see as it spends most of its time in the tall trees of the rainforest and on my previous two visits to this part of Cape York I’d seen only a few females. This time, the males were very vocal and actively courting females and I had more success, as in the first photo.

The ‘magnificent’ is appropriate as, with a length of 28-33cm/11-13in, it is the largest of the three Australian Riflebirds. (There is a fourth species of Riflebird, the Eastern or Growling Riflebird, in eastern PNG – recently split from the Magnificent Riflebird and distinguishable mainly by its call.) As you can see from the first photo, the blue shield on the throat and upper breast of the male is much larger than that of the other two Australian ones. It is also the only one of the three to have plumes along the flanks. These are hard to see on the first photo (except as a fuzzy area below the right wing) but are visible in the second photo both as a fuzzy line along the right side and as longer wiry plumes on either side of the tail.

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Like Victoria’s Riflebird the heavy plumage of the males make a swishing noise in flight as they sweep regally around in the canopy of the forest. Their usual call is like a wolf whistle and carries a long way, though I found that locating a male in this way was no guarantee of being able to see it. The male in the first photo was actively wooing an unimpressed or ambivalent female who flew away from him and landed on a branch in the open directly above me. She quickly realised that she was attracting my interest too, as in the third photo, and flew off again in renewed search of peace.

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

The females are fairly different in appearance from the females of Victoria’s Riflebird with rufous upperparts and heavily barred underparts. (You may remember that the female Victoria’s has much greyer upper parts with less marked buff underparts). The fourth photo shows a female in a more typical pose, looking for grubs, Woodpecker-like, along the limbs and trunks of trees, though Riflebirds also eat fruit.

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) by Ian

Another spectacular bird in Iron Range was the Yellow-billed Kingfisher. It has featured as bird of the week before, so here is the link to the new Yellow-billed Kingfisher and on the Daintree we encountered plenty of Azure Kingfishers and Little Kingfishers .

The website, incidentally, had a record month in August with more than 9,300 visits, substantially up from previous records in July of 7,700 and in June of 7,200, with total downloads of about 4.5GB, also a record.

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:

The Paradisaeidae Family is again presented by Ian. If you missed Ian’s other birds from this family, see:
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Trumpet Manucode
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Victoria’s Riflebird

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalms 34:3 ESV)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Trumpet Manucode

Trumpet Manucode (Phonygammus keraudrenii) by Ian

Trumpet Manucode (Phonygammus keraudrenii) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Trumpet Manucode ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 9/6/11

I’m back home now after the 2 week trip to Cape York and happy to be able to provide the hoped-for Bird of Paradise, the Trumpet Manucode, as bird of the week. Your collective moral/spiritual support clearly worked again, as it did with Snowy Owl in Alaska 3 years ago and Resplendent Quetzal in Costa Rica last year, so thank you very much. A bit of persistence probably helped too as Trumpet Manucodes are easy to hear but notoriously difficult to see, and this was my third visit to Iron Range/Lockhart River without getting more than distance glimpses in the thick foliage of the rainforest.

The first photo shows the crest and neck plumes that are erected in an apparently spectacular display. Although the males were calling, the breeding season doesn’t start until October so I didn’t see any display, though in the second photo the crest plumes are erect as the bird reaches for a fig.

Trumpet Manucode (Phonygammus keraudrenii) by Ian

Trumpet Manucode (Phonygammus keraudrenii) by Ian

Manucodes are 28-32cm/11-13in in length and the sexes are similar, though the females have duller plumage and orange rather than red eyes. This very tall tree, one of few that I found in fruit, was popular with other fruit-eaters such as Yellow Orioles, Barred Cuckoo-shrikes and Metallic Starlings. The Manucode seemed to have a rather proprietorial attitude to it and would sweep in majestically, making the other birds scatter.

Trumpet Manucodes have a long curved windpipe under the skin of the breast, which gives a wonderfully resonant quality to its trumpet call, rendered as ‘growng’ which carries a long way and can be attributed a mocking quality when you can’t find the bird! Their other main call is a gurgling ‘owwgk’ made when inhaling through the windpipe.

The Trumpet Manucode also occurs in New Guinea, where there are 4 other species of Manucode, most of which are illustrated here: http://australianmuseum.net.au/William-T-Coopers-Birds-of-Paradise?page=2&assetID= . The name Manucode is derived from the Malay ‘manuk dewata’ meaning “bird of the gods” so a parallel with the divine nature of the Resplendent Quetzal is easy to draw.

The rest of the trip went smoothly and I also got photos of the other species on my short list – Tropical Scrubwren, Green-backed and White-streaked Honeyeaters – and a few others besides, which I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks.

Links:
Resplendent Quetzal 
Snowy Owl
Green/Yellow Oriole
Barred Cuckoo-shrike
Metallic Starling

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:

I am glad our thoughts and prayers worked and helped you stay persistent. Those of us that remember you also have selfish motives. We thoroughly enjoy getting to see your great finds. Sounds like a “win-win” situation.

The Manucode, as Ian mentioned is in the Bird-of-Paradise family. That Family, the Paradisaeidae, has 41 species in 16 genera. There are 5 Manucodes; the Trumpet (Ian’s), Glossy-mantled, Jobi, Crinkle-collard and the Curl-crested Manucode. Riflebirds are also part of the family and Ian has photos of the Magnificent, Victoria’s and Paradise Riflebirds on his site.

 

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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