Family Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Least Concern

Flame Bowerbird (Sericulus ardens)


French: Jardinier ardent German: Flammenlaubenvogel Spanish: Pergolero flamígero

Xanthomelus ardens

D’Albertis and Salvadori

, 1879,

upper Fly River, 430 m, New Guinea


Often treated as conspecific with S. aureus, with which it hybridizes in area of marginal range overlap on Wataikwa R (SW New Guinea); DNA data#R, however, suggest that the two are separate species. Monotypic.


S New Guinea from Wataikwa R–Mimika R and upper Noord R–Endrich R E to upper Fly R, Strickland R and Nomad R, and to near Ludesa Mission (Mt Bosavi); also in Tarara–Morehead area and inland from Merauke (between Kumbe and Merauke R).

Descriptive notes

25·5 cm; two captive males 120 g and 140 g, five females 127–168 g. Generally like S. aureus, but slightly smaller, shorter-tailed, and lacking black... read more


Few records; harsh rasping and hissing notes, and oft-repeated churring "shh" or faint... read more


Lowland and foothill rainforest and tall secondary forest, including patches in flat savanna (... read more

Food and feeding

Diet little known; fruits and insects. Forages singly, sometimes in twos or threes, and occasionally in company with other avian frugivores. read more


Display season in E of range mostly May–Jul at Nomad R and Aug–Nov near Strickland R. Polygynous, promiscuous male seasonally... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Usually treated as conspecific with A. aureus. Probably not globally threatened. Little-known species. Not uncommon in Wataikwa R area in W of range... read more

Recommended citation

Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Flame Bowerbird (Sericulus ardens). 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 26 February 2020).