Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus) is a paradise bird that lives in hill and mid-mountain forest of New Guinea especially. The male and female birds are sexually dimorphic. They can easily be watched at their display court. The recommended destinations for watching the Magnificent Bird of Paradise are Ayapokiar and Fef in Tambrauw mountains and several places in Arfak range.

Although their display court and behaviour is similar to the Wilson's Bird of Paradise in Raja Ampat islands, physically the colors of their feather are different. The Magnificent Bird of Paradise has got slightly larger body.

Magnificent Bird of Paradise in Tambrauw Mountains
Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Interested in Watching the Paradise Birds?

There are guesthouses located in Ayapokiar and Fef which visitors can stay during their tour in the region. To go to the village, you need to fly from Manokwari city to District Kebar. After that, you can continue your trip to District Senopi where you will need to meet a Catholic priest who works in the district. He can organize a 4WD transport car that can bring you to Ayapokiar or Fef. Before leaving for the village, inform him.

If arranging such a trip to interior region of West Papua is difficult for you, you could hire me as your guide to organize your birding trip. I have accompanied a lot of tourists to this region since 2010.

Usually, villagers put a big Red Pandanus Fruit on a wooden frame near the court to attract the birds. When female birds come to eat the grain of the fruit, the male Magnificent BOP will also come and invite them to his display court. Usually, there are several saplings standing inside the the court. Early in the morning, Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise lands on the ground of his display court to clear it from fallen leaves and twigs. When he has done his chores, he will hop on to the branch of one of the saplings and begin calling his female counterparts.Sometimes one, two, or even more female birds come to check the cleanliness of the display court and the look of the male bird.

Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus)
Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise hops from one sapling to another chasing and displaying his beautiful feather to his female counterparts that come to his display court. He expands his chest, back feather and plays his tailed antennas to attract the female bird that he likes. If she is impressed with the beauty of his performance, she will give an ok gesture to him for mating.

In addition to the Magnificent BOP, there are a lot of other tropical birds that you could watch including Lesser Birds of Paradise, Mountain Peltop, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Red-bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Moustached Tree Swift, Emperor Fairy Wren, Blyth's Hornbill, Longtailed Buzzard, Black-browed Triller, and etc.

Birding equipment such as binoculars, spotting scope mounted on a tripod, laser pointer, smartphone that contain records of bird sounds plus a portable loudspeaker, laser pointer and field guide book Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt et all or another similar title by Phil Gregory will be needed. They will greatly enhance the birding experience of bird watchers who take the tour.