The Berlepsch’s Parotia (Parotia berlepschi) is also known as Berlepsch’s Six-wired Bird of Paradise. Its name commemorates a 19th-century German ornithologist Hans von Berlepsch.
This is a medium-sized black bird of paradise with bronze-tinged upperparts, conspicuous white flank plumes, iridescent coppery-greenish breast plumes, and six flag-tipped head wires.
The duller female lacks the head wires and has finely dark-barred whitish underparts, brown upperparts, and rufous wings. The irises of both sexes are whitish.
It resembles and is often considered to be a subspecies of the Carola’s Parotia, but it differs from the latter by having more heavily bronzed plumage and no eye ring.
Distribution / Range
Previously known only from four specimens, the home of this little-known bird of paradise was located in 1985 by the American scientist Jared Diamond at Foja Mountains of Papua, Indonesia. Diamond encountered only the females of this species.
In December 2005, an international team of eleven scientists from the United States, Australia, and Indonesia, led by ornithologist and Conservation International vice-president Bruce Beehler traveled to the unexplored areas of Foja Mountains and rediscovered the Berlepsch’s Parotia among other little-known and new species.
The first photographs of them were taken during the rediscovery.