Unsorted Wild Birds

Wallace’s Standardwing

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The Wallace’s Standardwings, Semioptera wallacii, is the only member in the monotypic genus Semioptera.

George Robert Gray of the British Museum named this species in honor of Alfred Russel Wallace, British naturalist and author of The Malay Archipelago, who discovered the bird in 1858.



The Wallace’s Standarwings is a medium-sized, approximately 28cm long, olive-brown bird of paradise.

The male has a gloss violet-and-lilac colored crown and emerald green breast-shield. Its most striking features are two pairs of long white plumes coming out from the bend of the wing that can be raised or lowered at the bird’s will.

The unadorned olive-brown female is smaller but has a longer tail than the male.


Distribution / Range

Wallace’s Standardwings inhabits, and is endemic to, the famed Spice Islands of eastern Indonesia and is the westernmost species of the true birds of paradise.

A common species in its limited habitat range, the Wallace’s Standardwing is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.


Diet / Feeding

Its diet consists mainly of insects, arthropods and fruits.


Breeding / Mating

The males are polygamous. They gather and perform a spectacular aerial display, “parachuting” with wings and its vivid green breast shield spread, and the wing “standards” fluttering above its back.


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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