Family Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Least Concern

Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)


French: Jardinier prince-régent German: Gelbnacken-Laubenvogel Spanish: Pergolero regente

Meliphaga chrysocephala


, 1808,

Patterson’s River [= Hunter River], New South Wales, Australia


DNA data#R suggest that this species is basal in the genus. Two documented cases of hybridization with Ptilonorhynchus violaceus. Birds from Blackall Range (SE Queensland) proposed as race rothschildi on basis of supposedly richer orange crown of male, but studies indicate no constant geographical difference in this character. Monotypic.


Coastal zone of CE Australia from E Queensland (Connors and Clarke Ranges, on Eungella Plateau) S, with distributional gap about Fitzroy R Valley inland of Rockhampton, to E New South Wales (to area immediately N of Sydney).

Descriptive notes

24·5 cm; male 76–110 g, female 91–138 g. Male has forehead, crown, nape and upper mantle brilliant deep yellow, often washed darker flame-scarlet on fore... read more


Away from bowers the least vocal member of family; in courtship gives typical harsh grating notes... read more


Subtropical rainforest, associated sclerophyll woodland, and more open habitats, including... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly fruits, also flowers (buds, petals, nectar), seeds, leaves, and arthropods (mostly insects); most leaf-eating during Jul–Oct... read more


Season Sept–Feb, peak in egg-laying Nov–Dec, fledging late Feb to early Mar, nesting cycle c. 3–4 months; display season... read more


Resident. Localized movement to lower altitudes may occur during winter months; individuals in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Eastern Australia EBA. Locally common or moderately common in larger forest "islands"; uncommon in... read more

Recommended citation

Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2020). Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus). 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 19 February 2020).