Family Birds-of-paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Least Concern

Magnificent Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus)


French: Paradisier magnifique German: Sichelschwanz-Paradiesvogel Spanish: Ave del paraíso magnífica

Paradisea Magnifica

J. R. Forster

, 1781,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Along with C. respublica sometimes separated in genus Diphyllodes. Hybridization recorded with C. regius and, intergenerically, with Paradisaea minor and Lophorina superba. Proposed race intermedius (upper Setekwa R, in Snow Mts) included in chrysopterus; and extra (Mt Hagen region, in Eastern Range) in hunsteini. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. magnificus (J. R. Forster, 1781) – West Papuan Is (Salawati) and NW New Guinea (N & E Vogelkop, Wandammen Peninsula and Onin Peninsula).
  • C. m. chrysopterus (Elliot, 1873) – Yapen I (in Geelvink Bay) and W & C New Guinea E to mountains of Jimi R and Sepik–Wahgi Divide, also Adelbert Range.
  • C. m. hunsteini (A. B. Meyer, 1885) – E & SE New Guinea from upper Fly R region (E along S scarp of C Cordillera), Wahgi region and Huon Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 19 cm (26 cm inclusive of central rectrices), 75–119 g; female 19 cm, 52–60 g. Male nominate race has upper head and nape feathers short and stubbly, olive-... read more


    Court advertisement song of male a strident "ca cru cru cru", or loud clear "car... read more


    Hill forest to lower montane forest, rarely in lowland rainforest; from near sea-level (where hilly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits and animals, latter including wide variety of insects, also spiders (Araneae); possibly also flowers or nectar. Nestlings fed at... read more


    Season at least Jul–Dec, but probably in all months over its range; males with much-enlarged gonads Mar–Nov, and females in... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. Widespread, and common. In 2002, within Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area (E New Guinea), estimates at 432–650 m were 17... read more

    Recommended citation

    Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Magnificent Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus). 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).