Magnificent riflebird

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Magnificent riflebird
Magnificent Riflebird.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Ptiloris
Species: P. magnificus
Binomial name
Ptiloris magnificus
Vieillot, 1819

The magnificent riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus) is a species of passerine bird of the Paradisaeidae family.

The magnificent riflebird is widely distributed throughout lowland rainforests of western New Guinea and the northern Cape York Peninsula.

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.

This species used to be placed in its own genus, Craspedophora Gray, 1840, which is now a subgenus of Ptiloris.[1]


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.[2]


The diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods.[2]

Courtship display[edit]

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.[citation needed]


  • P. m. alberti Vieillot, 1819
  • P. m. magnificus Elliot, 1871

In addition, the growling riflebird (Ptiloris intercedens) is often considered a subspecies.


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2012). "Ptiloris magnificus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b 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.