Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

King Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus regius)


French: Paradisier royal German: Königsparadiesvogel Spanish: Ave del paraíso real

Paradisea regia


, 1758,

Aru Islands, New Guinea


Hybridization with C. magnificus recorded. Proposed race rex (Sorong district, in Vogelkop) synonymized with nominate; and gymnorhynchus (near Finschhafen, on NE coast of Huon Peninsula), cryptorhynchus (Taua, on lower Mamberamo R) and similis (Stephansort, in Astrolabe Bay) treated as synonyms of coccineifrons. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. regius (Linnaeus, 1758) – West Papuan Is (Salawati, Misool), Aru Is, and mainland New Guinea except N portion.
  • C. r. coccineifrons Rothschild, 1896 – N New Guinea from E coast of Geelvink Bay E to E Ramu R; Yapen I.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 16 cm (31 cm inclusive of central rectrices), 43–65 g; female 19 cm, 38–58 g. Very small paradisaeid with upper ridge of culmen sharply keeled to knife edge... read more


    Advertisment calls of males are varied, more typical ones being transcribed as a descending "... read more


    Lowland rainforest, monsoon forest, gallery forest and forest edge, including disturbed areas and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and arthropods; no information on relative proportions of each. Forages at various levels of forest; joins mixed-species foraging... read more


    Breeds at least Mar–Oct, but probably in all months over range; two separate females with newly fledged young in May; males with much... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Locally fairly common; widespread, but patchily distributed. Calculated as representing c. 1% of avifauna at Soliabeda (near Purari R, at... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2019). King Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus regius). 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 7 December 2019).