The Ballerina Bird - Western Parotia

Ballerina bird is the name given by birdwatching visitors to Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). It is a paradise bird that lives in Arfak mountains and Tambrauw Mountains between an elevation of 1,100 and 1,900 meters above sea level. The male bird has got crystal clear blue eyes. A male Western Parotia has got a nearly like upside down silvery white triangular forhead or frontal crest and six antennas. Most of its feather is black.The female Western Parotia has got brown wings and tail. The underpart is mostly white with dark thin stripes covering it.

The ballerina dance style that a male Western Parotia likes to perform to attract his female counterparts is what attracts tourists from all corners of the world.

Before performing his courtship dance, a male Western Parotia will clear his dancing ground by removing fallen twigs, and leaves using his bill. He will pick them up and throw them out. Before or just after doing it, he will call his female counterparts to attend his ballet dance performance.

A male Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) dances like a ballerina dancer to attract his female partner.
Male and Female Western Parotia

While waiting for them, he will do the ballet dance rehearsals jumping forward, backward, and moving his head to the left and right sides.

When he knows that his female counterpart(s) has arrived, he will start to perform his courtship dance. First, he will bow down to salute his audience and then he will start to dance.

If the female Western Parotia is impressed with the dance performance, she will mate with the male one. If she is not, she will fly away.

In certain forest areas of Arfak mountains where birdwatching tourism has been developed for years, local villagers have built huts near the dancing ground of the paradise birds. Most of them are made of wooden sticks and leaves. Certain huts are made of corrugated metal sheet. These rusty metal huts are more weather resistant. There are holes for birdwatchers to observe birds using binoculars or to shoot birds using cameras.

This bird is at the top list of targets among birdwatchers who travel to Arfak mountains. In Tambrauw and Wondiboy mountains where the paradise bird also exist, watching sites for tourists haven't been established. This was written by Charles Roring