Victoria’s Riflebird

Lophorina victoriae

Of the four birds of paradise found in Australia, three are Riflebirds.  Each are somewhat similar in plumage, the males being glossed black, subtly tinged with iridescent purple and blue-green, while the females are predominantly brown. Thankfully, the ranges of each species do not overlap, thus making identification much easier. The Magnificent Riflebird inhabits the rainforests of northern Queensland. Victoria’s Riflebird is found at the base of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, while the Paradise Riflebird is found in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. All Riflebirds have short square tails, and long, downwardly curved bills, which are probed in crevices in search of insects and their larvae.  Berries and fruits are also taken. All Riflebirds share the characteristic courtship display, whereby the male selects a perch in the sunlight and arches his wings above his head. He the tilts his head back and moves it in a mechanical fashion, to highlight the metallic colours of his throat.