Family Logrunners (Orthonychidae)

Least Concern

Papuan Logrunner (Orthonyx novaeguineae)


French: Orthonyx de Nouvelle-Guinée German: Papuaflöter Spanish: Colaespina papú

Orthonyx Novae Guineae

A. B. Meyer

, 1874,

Arfak Mountains, New Guinea


Formerly considered conspecific with O. temminckii, but genetic studies indicate that it is closer to O. spaldingii#R#R. Differs from O. temminckii in its much narrower strip of white from chin to belly in male (2); altogether darker plumage in male on crown, head sides to flanks and back to tail (2); smaller size (but size varies with subspecies and samples variable and few; ns); and very different voice, with much lower-pitched notes (first harmonic) (4), and phrases of basically one note repeated (4)#R. Genetic analysis also suggests that nominate race may be a separate species from dorsalis and victorianus, but limited evidence indicates that voices are similar; last two races often merged. Racial identity of population recently found in EC New Guinea (Tari area, in Southern Highlands Province) unknown. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. n. novaeguineae A. B. Meyer, 1874 – Tamrau Mts and Arfak Mts, in NW New Guinea.
  • O. n. dorsalis Rand, 1940 – Nassau and Oranje Ranges, in WC New Guinea.
  • O. n. victorianus van Oort, 1909 – Herzog Mts and Wharton Range, in E New Guinea.
  • Also (race unknown) in Tari area of EC New Guinea.

    Descriptive notes

    18·5 cm; male 53–75 g, female 47–58 g. Male nominate race has supercilium and side of face grey, crown dark rufous-brown with darker feather edgings (... read more


    Song 4–6 descending repetitive whistled notes, first 2–3 close together, last rather... read more


    Mainly upper montane forest at 1980–2840 m, possibly to 3450 m; locally down to 1200 m in W... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other invertebrates. Forages on forest floor; few data on behaviour.


    Nests with egg in Mar and late Nov, juveniles in Sept and Nov, and male in breeding condition in late Apr. Nest a small, rounded dome with... read more


    Very probably sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally scarce to rare; locally common in NW of range (Vogelkop). True abundance of species difficult to assess, because it is quiet, cryptic, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2020). Papuan Logrunner (Orthonyx novaeguineae). 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 29 February 2020).