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|Neville William Cayley's illustration of the immature male, mature male, and female magnificent riflebird.|
A widespread and relatively common species throughout its range, the magnificent riflebird is evaluated as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
The magnificent riflebird is medium-sized (up to 34 cm long). The male is velvet-black bird-of-paradise with elongated black filamental flank plumes, an iridescent blue-green crown, a wide, triangle-shaped breast shield, and on central tail feathers. It has a black curved bill, yellow mouth, blackish feet and a dark brown iris. The female is brownish with dark spots and buff bars below with a white brow. The immature male resembles the male but with less tail plumes.
Males are polygamous and perform solitary courtship displays on a 'dancing perch'. During these displays, the male fully extends his wings and raises his tail; he hops upward while swinging his head from side to side, showing off his metallic blue-green breast shield. Multiple females will observe these displays, and, if satisfied with the performance, reward the male with copulations. Females subsequently build nests, incubate, brood, and feed young without male assistance.
- P. m. alberti Vieillot, 1819
- P. m. magnificus Elliot, 1871
In addition, the growling riflebird (Ptiloris intercedens) is often considered a subspecies.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Ptiloris magnificus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Frith, C.; Frith, D. (2016). "Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)". In del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
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