Victoria’s Riflebird

Male Victoria's Riflebird perched on vertical palm tree trunk
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Scientific Name: Lophorina victoriae

Size: 23 to 25 cm

What does it look and sound like?

The Victoria’s Riflebird is one of 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. All Riflebirds have short square tails, and long, downwardly curved bills. A loud, explosive ‘yaaas’,  sometimes given twice, is the characteristic call.

Where is it found?

The Victoria’s Riflebird is endemic to the Atherton Tableland region at the base of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.

What are its habitats & habits?

Victoria’s Riflebirds inhabit rainforests, where they use their bills to probe into 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 then tilts his head back and moves it in a mechanical fashion, to highlight the metallic colours of his throat. 

Interesting facts

The species name victoriae was given to the bird to honour Queen Victoria of England.

Also known as: Duwuduwu by the Yidinji people

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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