Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Lawes's Parotia (Parotia lawesii)


French: Paradisier de Lawes German: Blaunacken-Paradiesvogel Spanish: Ave del paraíso de Lawes

Parotia lawesii

E. P. Ramsay

, 1885,

Astrolabe Mountains, subsequently considered to be Aruma Apa-Maguli Range, Owen Stanley Range, New Guinea


Intergeneric hybridization with Paradisornis rudolphi recorded; no records of hybridization with sympatric congener P. carolae. Race helenae treated as a separate species by some recent authors#R#R#R owing to small differences in plumage and in male narial tuft, but available recordings indicate little difference in voice. Other proposed races exhibita (Mt Hagen area) and fuscior (Herzog Mts) included in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. lawesii E. P. Ramsay, 1885 – Lawes’s Parotia – highlands of EC New Guinea E to S slopes of SE Peninsula.
  • P. l. helenae De Vis, 1897 – Eastern Parotia – N watershed of peninsular SE New Guinea (from Waria SE to Milne Bay); possibly also S watershed in extreme SE (Keveri Hills to, possibly, Mt Dayman#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 27 cm, 153–195 g; female 25 cm, 122–169 g. Broad-winged and short-tailed parotia. Male nominate race is velvety jet-black, head adorned with erectile silver... read more


    Possible advertisement a loud, raucous, growling, metallic and rasping or grating "graannh-... read more


    Middle montane forest, including primary mixed oak forest, disturbed forest, also secondary growth... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly fruits; also some animals, i.e. arthropods and skinks (Scincidae). Leaves eaten in captivity. Takes animal prey from epiphytes, dry... read more


    Season at least Jun–Jan; egg-laying early Dec (one nest), a nest with chick 5–6 days old in late Nov, males with gonads... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Central Papuan Mountains EBA. CITES II. Common in Tari Valley and fairly common in Owen Stanley Mts. On Mt... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Lawes's Parotia (Parotia lawesii). 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 17 February 2020).