Victoria’s Riflebird (Lophorina victoriae)

This beautiful Victoria’s Riflebird (Lophorina victoriae) of the mid-northeastern Queensland rainforests eats much fruit in the mid and upper forest strata. It is also known as the Lesser Riflebird, Queen Victoria’s riflebird, Victoria riflebird and Queen Victoria Riflebird. The male bird is slightly larger, but its bill is shorter. It measures about 230-250 mm long.
Some of this it skins by holding the fruit with one foot and slipping off the rind with its bill. It also eats insects, which it finds by probing, shuffling and pulling with its bill in bark or among debris in tree forks and branches. Foraging birds will spiral up trunks like treecreepers. They fly rapidly in direct undulations for short distances through the forest, the wings of the males rustling like silk, or they glide away through the tree tops. Males display solitarily throughout the breeding season, keeping to small territories of about two hectares in which they dominate all vantage points.
Victoria’s Riflebird male will perch on a thick, near-vertical stump in the crown of a tree, stand erect, and raise his wings until the tips meet over his head or forward like an umbrella under his chin. He sways and pivots his body backwards and forwards, with green-tipped body plumes fanned out in a circle and tail cocked forward. He opens his· bill and throws his head back and moves it rhythmically from side to side in a scintillating display.
Read More – Paradise Riflebird “Ptiloris paradiseus”
When two birds are in duet display, their breasts are almost touching as they sway back and forth. In alternation and in increasingly rapid succession, each raises an outstretched wing forward. To meet the other bird’s upswinging wing, it throws back its head and moves rhythmically from side to side. Copulation follows when the male encircles the female with both wings. Pairing does not exist. Itinerant females usually raise one brood a year as they leave to nest and rear their young on their own. Each male may mate with any number of these females. In contrast to adult males, females and immature wander locally and are not territorial.
In a female, the head is mid gray-brown with fine buff streaks along the crown, and the eyebrows are pale buff. In the wing quills, there is a light wash of rufous on the upper parts.
In a female, the head is mid gray-brown with fine buff streaks along the crown, and the eyebrows are pale buff. In the wing quills, there is a light wash of rufous on the upper parts. Source
The crown of the male is iridescent metallic green; the rest of the upper parts are velvety black; the wings are black with a papery texture. There are metallic green feathers over the central feathers on the tail, which is short and square. Small triangular gorge in the center of the chest, smaller than in Paradise Riflebird, velvety black on the chin and lower breast. There are oil-green scallops along the edges of the feathers of the rest of the underparts. The eyes are dark brown. Lime-yellow mouth; black bill. Black feet. In a female, the head is mid gray-brown with fine buff streaks along the crown, and the eyebrows are pale buff. In the wing quills, there is a light wash of rufous on the upper parts. There are small arrow-shaped spots of dusky grey on the undertail, paler and plainer on the throat, with narrow brown streaks running down the sides from the base of the bill; the flanks are lightly barred grey. The bill is dusky. Grey-slate feet. The immature as adult female; and immature males are short-billed, not gaining adult plumage until fourth year.
Riflebirds utter a raucous, rasping, yaa-a-rr call, especially when calling from high perches in advertisement. In display, the song consists of soft rasps and churrs.
Nesting and breeding take place between September and January. Nest consists of thick roots, leaves, and tendrils, 170-180 mm by 80-90 mm deep; lined with broad leaves and a few fine sticks; placed on top of pandanus or other palm trees, or in dense tree foliage 3-30 meters above ground. There are usually two eggs; the female incubates them. They have lustrous pink flesh or pink-buff, with longitudinal streaks of red, red-purple, umber, and purple-grey. They are oval and about 34 x 23 mm in size. About four weeks after hatching, the young fledge.
Victoria’s Riflebird is found in rainforests in northeastern Queensland and nearby offshore islands from Helen Vale near Cooktown to Paluma Range near Townsville, Qld. There are no races.
This beautiful Victoria's Riflebird (Lophorina victoriae) of the mid-northeastern Queensland rainforests eats much fruit in the mid and upper forest strata.
This beautiful Victoria’s Riflebird (Lophorina victoriae) of the mid-northeastern Queensland rainforests eats much fruit in the mid and upper forest strata. Image Source – Greg Schechte
Read More – Magnificent Riflebird – A Visual Symphony of Elegance and Grace