Arfak Astrapias

The Arfak Astrapia (Astrapia nigra) was described by Levaillant of France as L’Incomparable or Incomparable Bird of Paradise.

In the wild, the Arfak Astrapia has hybridised with the Black Sicklebill producing offspring that were once considered a distinct species the Elliot’s Sicklebill Epimachus ellioti. While some ornithologists still believe that this bird is a distinct species, possibly critically endangered or even extinct, many believe it was a hybrid between the two species.

Distribution / Range

This Indonesian endemic is restricted to the Arfak Mountains in Vogelkop Peninsula, West Papua.


This large black bird of paradise averages 76 cm in length (including its tail).

It has an iridescent purple, green and bronze plumage.

The male has a very long broad tail, velvety black breast feathers and extremely complex head plumage.

The female is a blackish brown with pale barring on its abdomen.

Diet / Feeding

The diet consists mostly of pandanus fruits.

Photo of author

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