Paradise Riflebird foraging behaviour

To: Andrew Noosa <>
Subject: Paradise Riflebird foraging behaviour
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 11:34:58 +1000

 Has anyone else observed any similar behaviour of a riflebird actively foraging out in the open, close to the ground and away from any cover (or anything other than high up in tall trees). I am aware that at O'Reillys at Lamington NP birds sometimes come down to feeding trays but I am more interested in natural foraging behaviour. Any comments are most welcome.

Hi Dean

I don't have a great deal of experience with riflebirds - being only an infrequent visitor to those bits of Australia where they occur.  I have two anecdotes which relate vaguely to your enquiry. 

Some time in the late 1980s I was visiting Dorrigo NP in NE NSW, and walking along one of the tracks leading out from the main picnic area.  I had walked through rainforest for a while, and reached some more open vegetation which included casuarinas.  Paradise Riflebird was one of the new birds I was looking for - so I was rather pleased and surprised when a male landed on a circa 1.5m high stump about 5m away in a large clearing, and proceeded to display - at me!  I got the full treatment with the wing shuffling display, and stood spellbound for a few minutes watching. 

During the mid 1990s I was participating in a study of Mahogany Gliders (possums) near Cardwell in North Qld.  The site was open eucalypt woodland with gallery forest on the creeks, bordering rainforest on the hill next door, and pine plantations to the south.  On several occasions I found Victoria's Riflebirds ripping into dead and decaying trees on the edge of the rainforest and gallery forest - exposed to the open woodland and pines on one side.  Most were 5-10m above ground at most, as the tree canopy was relatively low there.

Cheers, Lawrie

Lawrie Conole
Senior Ecologist
Ornithology & Terrestrial Ecology
Ecology Australia Pty. Ltd.
Flora and Fauna Consultants
88B Station Street
FAIRFIELD VIC 3078 Australia
E-mail: m("","lconole");">
Ph: (03) 9489 4191; Mob: (0419) 588 993
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