Family Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Near Threatened

Archbold's Bowerbird (Archboldia papuensis)


French: Jardinier d’Archbold German: Archboldlaubenvogel Spanish: Pergolero de Archbold
Other common names: Sanford's Bowerbird (sanfordi)

Archboldia papuensis


, 1940,

Bele River, 2200 m, 18 km north of Lake Habbema, Snow Mountains, western New Guinea


Races long thought to constitute separate species, on alleged grounds that sanfordi was crested and built a “mat” bower whereas male nominate was uncrested and possibly built an avenue bower; both races now known to have crest in male and to build maypole bower. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. papuensis Rand, 1940 – mountains of WC New Guinea (Wissel Lakes, in Weyland Mts area; Nassau Range and Oranje Mts; Bele R and L Habbema region).
  • A. p. sanfordi Mayr & Gilliard, 1950 – mountains of EC New Guinea (Mt Hagen, Mt Giluwe, Tari Gap, and S Karius Range).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 37 cm, 170–195 g; female 35 cm, 163–185 g. Male nominate race is dark sooty grey to jet-black, with extensive prominent black-streaked orange-yellow crest... read more


    Male at bower gives loud advertisement vocalizations with ventriloquial quality, including whistles... read more


    Frost-prone high montane mossy beech (Nothofagus) forest with coniferous (Podocarpus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually no information on adult diet. Nestling diet predominantly fruits, also some animals; latter mostly tree-climbing skinks (... read more


    Season Sept–Feb, with eggs Nov–Dec; display season Sept–Dec, but Mt Hagen bowers attended as early as Jul. Polygynous,... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted range species: present in Central Papuan Mountains EBA. Reasonably common locally; generally rare... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Archbold's Bowerbird (Archboldia papuensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).