Eastern parotia

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Eastern parotia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Parotia
Species: P. helenae
Binomial name
Parotia helenae
De Vis, 1891

The eastern parotia (Parotia helenae) is also known as Helena's parotia. Approximately 27 cm long, it is a medium-sized passerine of the bird-of-paradise family, Paradisaeidae. The Eastern Parotia is distributed and endemic to mountain forests of southeast Papua New Guinea.

The scientific name honors Princess Helena Augusta Victoria, the third daughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

As with other species of Parotia, the male is polygamous and performs spectacular courtship display in the forest ground. The clutch contains 1, maybe occasionally 2 eggs; one that was studied was 38.4 x 27.8 mm in size (Mackay 1990). It eats mainly fruit, seeds and arthropods.

A common species throughout its limited range, the eastern parotia is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.


Its appearance resembles Lawes's parotia, of which it is sometimes considered a subspecies. It differs in the male frontal crest's and the female's dorsal plumages colors. The male has an iridescent golden green breast shield, elongated black plumes, three erectile spatule head wires behind each blue iris eye and golden brown nasal tuft feathers. The female is smaller than the male, with brown plumage and black barred below.


  • Mackay, Margaret D. (1990): The Egg of Wahnes' Parotia Parotia wahnesi (Paradisaeidae). Emu 90(4): 269. PDF fulltext

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