Black Sickle bill Mating Dance
The black sickle bill (Epimachus fastosus) is a large bird-of-paradise of mid mountain forests of New Guinea.
The sicklebill's diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods. The male of the species is polygamous and performs a horizontal courtship display with the pectoral plumes raised around its head.
In the wild, the bird has hybridised with the Arfak astrapia to create offspring that were once considered two distinct species, the Elliot's sicklebill (Epimachus ellioti) and the astrapian sicklebill (Astrapimachus astrapioides). Both species are generally viewed by most mainstream ornithologists as hybrids, but a minority of ornithologists believe ellioti may be a valid species.
Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, and hunting in some areas for food and its tail feathers, the black sicklebill is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
Distribution / Range
The Black Sicklebills are patchily distributed in the mountainous areas of western and central New Guinea:
... from the Tamrau and Arfak Mountains in Vogelkop of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya), Indonesia, to the Kubor and Kratke ranges and a few localities in the Torricelli and Bewani mountains in Papua New Guinea (Rand and Gilliard 1967, B. M. Beehler in litt. 1987).
The Black Sicklebills are only locally common, for example on Mount Bosavi and the Arfak Mountains, and generally scarce to rare or locally absent (Coates 1990).
They typically occur in mid-montane forest at 1,280-2,550 m (4,200 - 8,400 ft), but may move to lower or higher elevations. They primarily occur in primary forest, and are less often recorded in adjacent secondary growth and gardens.
The Black Sicklebill is the largest-plumbed member of its family; including the tail, the males average 100 cm in length and the females about 48 cm. These bird-of-paradise have long, down curved bills and very long tails.
The male has a mostly black plumage with glossy green, blue and purple scale-like feathers. He has red eyes, a bright yellow mouth and a long curved black bill. His most distinctive feature is the huge sabre-shaped tail and large fan-like plumes on the sides of his chest.
The female is smaller than the male. Her plumage is mostly reddish-brown, with chestnut wing-feather fringes and fine, dark brown barring on her off-white underparts. Her eyes are red-brown.
The Black Sicklebill looks similar to the Brown Sicklebill (which replaces it at higher elevations), but can be differentiated by the finer, more decurved bill and pale blue eyes. The male is browner and female doesn't have any chestnut coloration on her wings.
The Buff-tailed Sicklebillhas a short, rounded tail.
Female Arfak Astrapia has a short bill.
Diet / Feeding
The Black Sicklebills forage for fruit and small animals in the tree canopy; as well as probing into moss and plants for insects and other arthropods, such as crabs, lice, shrimp, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes.
Calls / Vocalizations
The males make paired, sharp, liquid quik, quik and simple nasal contact calls.
Breeding / Nesting
The Black Sicklebills do not form strong pair bonds. The male will mate with several females over the breeding season. In order to attract females, he performs a horizontal courtship display with the pectoral plumes raised around his head. The female builds the nest and attends to the young alone.
The Black Sicklebills have hybridised with the Arfak Astrapia in the wild, creating offspring that were once considered a separate species, the Elliot's Sicklebill, Epimachus ellioti. While some believe this was a valid species that is possibly critically endangered or extinct, it is generally considered a hybrid by most mainstream ornithologists.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_sicklebill#bird #birds #gif #birdsgallery #matingdance #birdgif #dance #birdsgif #birdsinfocus #birds #gif #birdsgallery #birds4all #birdloversworldwide #birdphotography #birdphotographs #birdphotos #animals #animallovers #animalphotography #animalgifs #wildlife #animals #nature #sicklebill #blacksicklebill #paradise