Family Fairy-wrens (Maluridae)

Least Concern

Orange-crowned Fairy-wren (Clytomyias insignis)


French: Mérion à tête rousse German: Rotkopf-Staffelschwanz Spanish: Maluro cabecirrojo

Clytomyias insignis


, 1879,

Tjobonda, Arfak Mountains, Vogelkop, New Guinea


DNA data#R#R show this species to be sister to Chenorhamphus grayi. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. i. insignis Sharpe, 1879 – Arfak Mts, in NW New Guinea (Vogelkop).
  • C. i. oorti Rothschild & E. J. O. Hartert, 1907 – C cordillera and Huon Peninsula of New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 10–14 g. Nominate race has crown, face, ear coverts and nape orange-rufous, upperparts olive-brown, upper­wing brown, tail light rufous; throat,... read more


    Song a brief, high-pitched, chattering reel. Contact call sharp, sibilant chirps, similar to those... read more


    Mountain forest, at 2000–3000 m.

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous. Observed in groups of 6–8 individuals, including more than two adults, usually in thick cover in subcanopy; gleans... read more


    A nest in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea contained 2 eggs in late April; the nest, placed in a shrubby vine ... read more


    Sedentary; groups appear to remain in same patch of habitat throughout year.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in suitable habitat along N & S sides of C mountain chain of New Guinea. Little threatened, since high-mountain forest is... read more

    Recommended citation

    Rowley, I., Russell, E. & de Juana, E. (2018). Orange-crowned Fairy-wren (Clytomyias insignis). 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 23 October 2018).