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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Victoria's Riflebird1.jpg (8478 bytes)
Photo: C & D Frith
Wet Tropics Rainforest Life

ENDEMIC Tropical North QLD

Ptiloris victoriae
24 cm

         Victoria’s Riflebird is one of 12 bird species endemic to the Wet Tropics region.

           It is one of four birds-of-paradise indigenous to Australia.

           Males display from conspicuous vantage points, where they mate with any
  receptive females attracted there.

           The diet comprises mainly fruit, insects and spiders.  Like a treecreeper or
  woodpecker, it often searches bark or decaying wood with its long arched bill.

      Victoria’s Riflebird is known as duwuduwu to the local Bama (Aboriginal) people.

      This bird of paradise is endemic to the Atherton Region where it can be seen
        throughout the year. It is named after the British Queen Victoria.

      It is a medium sized bird, 23-25cm. The male is a velvet jet black with a green
        head, throat and tail that sparkle in the sun’s rays. The female is a red-brown.

      In its breeding season from September to February, males attract females by
        their fascinating display of throwing up their rounded wings either side of their
        upstretched head and neck, swaying from side to side and bobbing up and down.
        While they do this, they flick their head from the edge of one wing to the edge of
        the other. They also make a loud single and explosive ‘yah’ call. When they open
        their bill, their brilliant yellow mouth interior can be seen.

      Male riflebirds slap their wings together as they arch them above their head in
        dramatic courting displays.
(Source: Environmental Protection Agency) 

      The male also has the ability to hang upside down with his tail fanned and wings
        spread. If the female is attracted, she moves toward him in a hopping motion. As
        she gets closer (when he is upright) he encircles her in his wings, which he uses
        to tap her softly.

      Once the male and female have mated, they no longer remain together. The
        female raises their young (usually two) alone. Her nest is often decorated with
        snake skins (eg. python).

      They feed in a predominantly woodpecker fashion as they tear tree bark and
        rotting wood in the search of insects and insect larvae with their long curved bill,
        strong legs and claws. They also eat fruit, and occasionally are shot illegally as
        they regularly damage cultivated fruit.

      Male riflebirds appear to keep to a territory, but females tend to wander. They
        have a swift and direct flight.

      Riflebirds are numerous round Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge  


Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tableland
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

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