Monday, 7 December 2009

Riflebirds get new uniforms

The young riflebirds have moulted into the adult plumage. For the females, their new outfits are not much different. But the males are getting their glorious black and iridescent blue feathers.

The first hints of a male's new plumage

Change almost complete

Practicing their flamenco dancing

In my garden, I've only seen them display to one another, but elsewhere they may get a little over-enthusiastic. Frith and Cooper report:
We occasionally observed a female-plumaged, presumed male, Victoria's Riflebird perform the Circular wings display to a passing bird of another species including a Wompoo Pigeon Ptilinopus magnificus, Pale Yellow Robin Tregellasia capito and Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayana. Such a riflebird, perched on a bird feeder in WTC's garden, once directed this display to a Musky Rat-kangaroo Hypsiprymnodon moschatus beneath it and once to a moth as it flew slowly past, the bird turning to continue presenting its display to the passing insect.


Reference
Frith, CB & Cooper, WT. (1998). Courtship display and mating of Victoria's Riflebird Ptiloris victoriae with notes on the courtship displays of congeneric species. Emu 96: 102 - 113.

11 comments:

Tyto Tony said...

Their top song must be: "Do you think I'm sexy". If I looked that good I might show off, but maybe draw line at moths. Do like hypsis.

Snail said...

I wonder what the moth thought? It obviously kept moving.

Mosura said...

Well if it's not going to attract moths I'll just have cancel my flamenco dancing lessons and stick to using a light bulb. Maybe I can sell my costume on Ebay :-)

Snail said...

Needs moar taffeta!

I presume it was a day-flying moth --- one of the lovely black and iridescent pink/green uraniids.

Neil said...

Interesting to watch the change.

Russell Constable said...

Indeed change is good!You lucky tablelander!I Still haven't bumped into one of these critters yet so am a little jealous!

Sebastian said...

...and their song is as beautiful as their plumage. Bahahahahah!

Sebastian said...

Not funny?

Pfft -- bloody birders :p

Snail said...

Nice face, shame about the voice?

Sorry, Sebastian, I lost track of comments for a while. Hope you're having fun/had fun on the Tablelands.

Bird of paradise said...

Just like the UGLY DUCKLING story for the male riflebird

Snail said...

Indeed! Mind you, the boys don't look too bad even as youngsters.