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Parotia lawesii by Bowdler Sharpe.jpg
Lawes's parotia, Parotia lawesii
Male above, female below
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Parotia
Vieillot, 1816

6; see text

The parotias are a genus, Parotia, of passerine birds in the bird-of-paradise family Paradisaeidae. They are found on New Guinea, to which they are endemic. They are also known as six-plumed birds of paradise, due to their six head quills. These birds were featured prominently in the BBC series Planet Earth.

The males of the genus are characterized by an ornamental plumage consisting of six wired head plumes with black oval-shaped tips, a neck collar of black, decomposed feathers which can be spread into a skirt-like shape, and bright or iridescent head and throat markings. During courtship, they perform ballerina-like dances and spread out their "skirt" on a patch of forest floor they have meticulously cleaned of dead leaves and other debris.[1] The "ballerina dances" usually consist of the male hopping from foot and bobbing their heads from side to side. The males are polygamous and do not take part in raising the young. Clutch size is somewhat uncertain; it is usually one to three eggs.[2]



  1. ^ Scholes, 2008
  2. ^ Mackay, 1990