List of birds of Papua New Guinea

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The Raggiana bird of paradise is the national bird of Papua New Guinea.

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Papua New Guinea. The avifauna of Papua New Guinea include a total of 781 species, of which 76 are endemic, one has been introduced by humans and eighteen are rare or accidental. Twenty-eight species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, fifth edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Papua New Guinea.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

  • (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Papua New Guinea
  • (E) Endemic - a species that is native to Papua New Guinea and nowhere else
  • (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Papua New Guinea as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions


Table of contents

See also        References

Cassowaries[edit]

Order: Struthioniformes Family: Casuariidae

The cassowaries are large flightless birds native to Australia and New Guinea.

Grebes[edit]

Order: Podicipediformes Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. There are 20 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae

The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary. There are 75 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Storm-petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are relatives of the petrels and are the smallest seabirds. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like. There are 21 species worldwide and five species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phaethontidae

Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings. There are three species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Pelicans[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Pelecanidae

Pelicans are large water birds with a distinctive pouch under their beak. As with other members of the order Pelecaniformes, they have webbed feet with four toes. There are eight species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Sulidae

The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium to large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. There are nine species worldwide and four species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage colouration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colourful. There are 38 species worldwide and four species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Darters[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Anhingidae

Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin necks, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving. There are four species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

  • Darter, Anhinga melanogaster

Frigatebirds[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Fregatidae

Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week. There are five species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae

The Ardeidae family contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills. There are 61 species worldwide and 14 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Threskiornithidae

Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers. There are 36 species worldwide and five species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating. There are 131 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Osprey[edit]

Order: Falconiformes Family: Pandionidae

The Pandionidae family contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Hawks, kites and eagles[edit]

Doria's goshawk

Order: Falconiformes Family: Accipitridae

Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey and includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are 233 species worldwide and 31 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Caracaras and falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae

Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 62 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Megapodes[edit]

Order: Galliformes Family: Megapodiidae

The Megapodiidae are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet. All but the malleefowl occupy jungle habitats and most have brown or black colouring. There are 21 species worldwide and six species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Pheasants and partridges[edit]

Order: Galliformes Family: Phasianidae

The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and three species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Buttonquails[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Turnicidae

The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young. There are 16 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Rallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 20 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Bustards[edit]

Order: Gruiformes Family: Otididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays. There are 26 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Jacanas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Jacanidae

The Jacanas are a group of tropical waders in the family Jacanidae. They are found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. There are eight species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Oystercatchers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are 11 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Recurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin straight bills. There are nine species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Burhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats. There are nine species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Glareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 66 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are 89 species worldwide and 36 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Stercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are seven species worldwide and three species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Gulls[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Laridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls and kittiwakes. They are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. There are 55 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Terns[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Sternidae

Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. There are 44 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are 308 species worldwide and 54 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Cockatoos[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes Family: Cacatuidae

The cockatoos share many features with other parrots including the characteristic curved beak shape and a zygodactyl foot, with two forward toes and two backwards toes. They differ, however in a number of characteristics, including the often spectacular movable headcrest. There are 21 species worldwide and four species which occur in Papua New Guinea. Promeropidae

Parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak. Their upper mandibles have slight mobility in the joint with the skull and they have a generally erect stance. All parrots are zygodactyl, having the four toes on each foot placed two at the front and two to the back. There are 335 species worldwide and 44 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Cuckoos[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes Family: Cuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites. There are 138 species worldwide and 24 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and seven species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae

The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk. There are 195 species worldwide and seven species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Owlet-nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Aegothelidae

The owlet-nightjars are small nocturnal birds related to the nightjars and frogmouths. They are insectivores which hunt mostly in the air. Their soft plumage is a mixture of browns and paler shades. There are nine species worldwide and seven species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Frogmouths[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Podargidae

The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. There are 12 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves. There are 86 species worldwide and six species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes Family: Apodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 98 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Treeswifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes Family: Hemiprocnidae

The treeswifts, also called crested swifts, are closely related to the true swifts. They differ from the other swifts in that they have crests, long forked tails and softer plumage. There are four species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Meropidae

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Typical rollers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Coraciidae

Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Hornbills[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes Family: Bucerotidae

Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly coloured. There are 57 species worldwide and one species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Pittas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pittidae

Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many are brightly coloured. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrates. There are 32 species worldwide and four species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are 91 species worldwide and two species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Hirundinidae

The Hirundinidae family is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and eight species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Motacillidae

Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and five species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Cettiid warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cettiidae

The Cettiidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds. This is the only newly discovered species in Papua New Guinea.

  • Odedi, Cettia haddeni - newly found species

Cuckoo-shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Campephagidae

The cuckoo-shrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured. There are 82 species worldwide and 16 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Bulbuls[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pycnonotidae

Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests. There are 130 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae

The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are 335 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Cisticolas and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cisticolidae

The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. There are 111 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Old World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae

The family Sylviidae is a group of small insectivorous passerine birds. They mainly occur as breeding species, as the common name implies, in Europe, Asia and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Most are of generally undistinguished appearance, but many have distinctive songs. There are 291 species worldwide and 13 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Muscicapidae

Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. There 274 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Fantails[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Rhipiduridae

The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders. There are 44 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Monarch flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Monarchidae

The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching. There are 99 species worldwide and 22 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Australasian robins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Petroicidae

Most species of Petroicidae have a stocky build with a large rounded head, a short straight bill and rounded wingtips. They occupy a wide range of wooded habitats, from subalpine to tropical rainforest, and mangrove swamp to semi-arid scrubland. All are primarily insectivores, although a few supplement their diet with seeds. There are 43 species worldwide and 23 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Whistlers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pachycephalidae

The family Pachycephalidae includes the whistlers, shrike-thrushes, shrike-tits, pitohuis and crested bellbird. There are 57 species worldwide and 24 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Pseudo-babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Pomatostomidae

The pseudo-babblers are small to medium-sized birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea. They are ground-feeding omnivores and highly social. There are 5 species and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Logrunners and chowchilla[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Orthonychidae

The Orthonychidae is a family of birds with a single genus, Orthonyx, which comprises two types of passerine birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea, the logrunners and the chowchilla. Both use stiffened tails to brace themselves when feeding. There are 3 species and 1 species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Whipbirds and quail-thrushes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cinclosomatidae

The Cinclosomatidae is a family containing whipbirds, wedgebills and quail-thrushes. There are 15 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Fairy-wrens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Maluridae

Maluridae is a family of small, insectivorous passerine birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea. They are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings. There are 25 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Thornbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Acanthizidae

Thornbills are small passerine birds, similar in habits to the tits. There are 65 species worldwide and 20 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Sitellas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Neosittidae

The sitellas are a family of small passerine birds found only in Australasia. They resemble treecreepers, but have soft tails. There are 2 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Australasian treecreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Climacteridae

The Climacteridae are medium-small, mostly brown-coloured birds with patterning on their underparts. They are endemic to Australia and New Guinea. There are 7 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Papua New Guinea.

Sunbirds and spiderhunters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Nectariniidae

The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 131 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Berrypeckers and longbills[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Melanocharitidae

The Melanocharitidae are medium-sized birds which feed on fruit and some insects and other invertebrates. They have drab plumage in greys, browns or black and white. The berrypeckers resemble stout short-billed honeyeaters, and the longbills are like drab sunbirds. There are 10 species, all of which are restricted to New Guinea.

Tit berrypecker and crested berrypecker[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Paramythiidae

Paramythiidae is a very small bird family restricted to the mountain forests of New Guinea. The two species are colourful medium-sized birds which feed on fruit and some insects.

Flowerpeckers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Dicaeidae

The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues. There are 44 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

White-eyes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Zosteropidae

The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull colour like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye. There are 96 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Honeyeaters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Meliphagidae

The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea. They are nectar feeders and closely resemble other nectar-feeding passerines. There are 174 species worldwide and 63 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Oriolidae

The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are 31 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Drongos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Dicruridae

The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Mudnest builders[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Grallinidae

Grallinidae was a presumed family of passerine birds containing four species which have since been found to be unrelated. Two of the four are still classified together, and these two species occur in Papua New Guinea.

Woodswallows[edit]

Great woodswallow

Order: Passeriformes Family: Artamidae

The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. There are 11 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Bellmagpies and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Cracticidae

The cracticids: currawongs, bellmagpies and butcherbirds, are similar to the other corvids. They have large, straight bills and mostly black, white or grey plumage. All are omnivorous to some degree. There are 12 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Birds-of-paradise[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Paradisaeidae

The birds-of-paradise are best known for the striking plumage possessed by the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the tail, wings or head. These plumes are used in courtship displays to attract females. There are 44 species worldwide and 35 species in Papua New Guinea.

Bowerbirds[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Ptilonorhynchidae

The bowerbirds are small to medium-sized passerine birds. The males notably build a bower to attract a mate. Depending on the species, the bower ranges from a circle of cleared earth with a small pile of twigs in the center to a complex and highly decorated structure of sticks and leaves. There are 20 species worldwide and 10 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Crows, jays, ravens and magpies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Corvidae

The Corvidae family includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 120 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen. There are 125 species worldwide and 8 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Estrildidae

The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns. There are 141 species worldwide and 17 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

Sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes Family: Passeridae

Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or grey birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Papua New Guinea.

See also[edit]

References[edit]