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Western parotia

Western parotia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Parotia
P. sefilata
Binomial name
Parotia sefilata
(Pennant, 1781)

The western or Arfak parotia (Parotia sefilata) is a medium-sized, approximately 33 cm long, bird-of-paradise with a medium-length tail.

Parotia comes from the Greek parotis, a lock or curl of hair by the ear, alluding to the head wires. The specific name sefilata is derived from the Latin word 'sex', meaning six, and filum, a thread or filament.[2]


Like other birds-of-paradise, the western parotia is sexually dimorphic. The male has jet black plumage, with striking iridescent scale-like golden-green breast shields and triangular silver feathers on its crown.[3] The occipital plumes (or head wires) arise from above and behind the eyes, with three long erectile wire-like plumes with smaller spatulate tips, above and behind each eye.[2] As with most members of the family, the female is unadorned and has brown plumage.[4] The species is similar to Lawes's parotia (Parotia lawesii).


The western parotia is found only in the mountain forests of Vogelkop and the Wandammen Peninsula of Western New Guinea.[4]


The species is polygynous. Males presumably perform a series of courtship displays on terrestrial courts in exploded leks.[4]

In courtship display, the male performs a ballerina-like dance with its elongated black plumes spread skirt-like, right below the iridescent breast shield. During the spectacular dance, he shakes his head and neck rapidly to show the brilliance of his inverted silver triangle-shaped head adornment to attending females.

The nest is built and attended by the female alone; the breeding season is largely unknown.[2]

The diet consists mainly of fruits such as figs, and arthropods.[4]


A widespread and common species throughout its range, the western parotia is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1] It is listed in Appendix II of CITES.


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2016). "Parotia sefilata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22706171A94054166. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22706171A94054166.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Gregory, Phil (2020). Birds of paradise and bowerbirds. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781472975843.
  3. ^ Mobley, Jason A. (2008). Birds of the World. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0-7614-7775-4.
  4. ^ a b c d Hugill, Michael (2011). "Western Parotia". The Australian Museum.
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Western parotia
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