Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Sicklebill (Drepanornis albertisi)


French: Paradisier de d’Albertis German: Schwarzschnabel-Paradieshopf Spanish: Ave del paraíso de Albertis
Other common names: Buff-tailed Sicklebill

Drepanephorus albertisi

P. L. Sclater

, 1873,

Hatam, Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Race cervinicauda has been considered a separate species under the PSC#R, but difference minor (see volume 1, pg 24). Birds of Huon Peninsula sometimes separated as race geisleri; further study required. Proposed race inversus (Mt Kunupi, in Weyland Mts) included in cervinicauda. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. a. albertisi (P. L. Sclater, 1873) – non-Cordilleran ranges of New Guinea, including mountains of Vogelkop, Wandammen Peninsula and Huon Peninsula, and presumably also Fakfak Mts, Kumawa Mts and Foja Mts.
  • D. a. cervinicauda P. L. Sclater, 1884 – C Cordillera of New Guinea from Weyland Mts E, very patchily, to Lordberg and Tari area and mountains of SE New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 35 cm, 103–125 g; female 33 cm, 92–138 g. Fairly large paradis­aeid with very long, sickle-shaped bill and medium-length tail. Male nominate race has... read more


    Male advertisement song a high, powerfully whistled, musical "dyu dyu dyu dyu dyu dyu dyu...... read more


    Middle montane forests, infrequently logged areas and forest edge; 600–2250 m, mainly 1100... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily insectivorous, taking various arthropods, but also fruits (mostly capsules). Forages mostly in middle and upper levels of forest... read more


    Breeds at least Sept–Dec, and birds with enlarged gonads noted Feb–Oct over entire range, but little studied; a begging... read more


    Presumably resident. A female was silent while moving about her 43-ha range during period of eight... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Nowhere abundant; may be absent from apparently suitable areas of habitat, especially in C parts of New Guinea. Although thought not to be... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Black-billed Sicklebill (Drepanornis albertisi). 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 25 February 2020).