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Cnemophilus macgregorii by Bowdler Sharpe.jpg
Cnemophilus macgregorii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Cnemophilidae

The satinbirds or Cnemophilines, Cnemophilidae are a group of passerine birds which consists of three species found in the mountain forests of New Guinea. They were originally thought to be part of the birds of paradise family Paradisaeidae until genetic research suggested that the birds are not closely related to birds of paradise at all and are perhaps closer to Melanocharitidae.


In each of the three species of satinbirds, the male is more brightly colored than the female, which is dull and inconspicuous. Satinbirds have weak, non-manipulative feet, wide gapes (at one time they were given the name "wide-gaped bird of paradise"), as well as an unossified nasal region. All species of satinbirds build domed nests, unlike those of birds of paradise. The female lays a single egg and takes care of it without any assistance from the male. Satinbirds feed exclusively on fruit, even at a young age.



  • Cracraft, J. & Feinstein, J. (2000): What is not a bird of paradise? Molecular and morphological evidence places Macgregoria in the Meliphagidae and the Cnemophilinae near the base of the corvoid tree. Proc. R. Soc. B 267: 233-241.
  • Burnie, David (2007): Bird: The Definitive Visual Guide: Page 371. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-0-7566-3153-6

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