Species profile

Paradise Riflebird

Paradise Riflebird

Photo courtesy of Eric Sohn Joo Tan.

Range and abundance

The Paradise Riflebird is restricted to rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales.


The Paradise Riflebird is a large spectacular bird reaching 30 cm in length. Males have a long curved black bill and velvet black plumage which contrasts with the iridescent green crown, throat, upper breast and middle tail feathers. Females are rufous brown on the back with cream eyebrow and underparts, with flanks and belly richly scalloped with dark brown.


Riflebirds use their strong bills to forage in rotting logs and vegetation for invertebrates. They also feed on rainforest fruits, hanging acrobatically from foliage. Male riflebirds give elaborate courtship displays on a horizontal limb or vine, or large stump. Displaying birds fan their wings, cock their tails, turn from side to side and display the vivid lime green interior of their mouths, while shimmying their iridescent breast feathers. Females lay two eggs in a nest constructed in the forest canopy or on top of a treefern.


Loss of habitat is the major threat to the Paradise Riflebird. Lowland rainforests throughout south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales have been heavily cleared for agriculture and urban development.


What is AWC doing?

At Curramore, AWC is restoring forest cover to disturbed and cleared areas that have been invaded by lantana. AWC’s fire management program is aimed at reducing the potential impacts of wildfire on rainforest.

Did you know:

Some female riflebirds decorate the rim of their nest with cast-off snake skins. This may be purely decorative or may function to scare off potential nest predators.