Long-tailed Paradigala

Long-tailed Paradigala is a species of birds of paradise that lives in tropical rainforest of West Papua. It is an endemic bird of Arfak mountains. I saw it when I guided two American birdwatchers on a 2 week birding and snorkeling tour from Raja Ampat to Manokwari. We did not have plan to find the bird because he does not have a fixed display tree. 

Long-tailed Paradigala was feeding on red fruit as his breafast.
Long-tailed Paradigala

One early morning time in Arfak mountains, I and Paige (one of the tour participants) went hiking to the dancing ground of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). We started at around 05.00 a.m. when it was still dark. The slopes were steep so we walked slowly and stopped several times on the way. Around forty five minutes later, we arrived. A red pandanus fruit had already been placed just outside the dancing ground of Western Parotia to attract the bird to come. 

Shortly after we sat on our "bench" which was actually a fallen log, we saw that some birds began to land on the fruits. There were female Black Sicklebills, female Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise and Western Parotia. They took turn in occupying the red fruit to have their breakfast. 

Suddenly, a Long-tailed Paradigala landed. I was surprised to see it. I had not seen the bird during my previous trips to Arfak mountains. Now the bird of paradise was just around four meters from me. I immediately aimed my camera at the bird and and took some pictures of him. After getting his fair share of the red grains as his breakfast, he flew away. 

That morning, we saw the Western Parotia dancing on the ground. There were also Green-backed Robin, Black-eared Catbird and Blue Gray Robin, Vogelkop Melidectes, Western Smoky Honeyeater, and Spectacled Longbill that we saw during our walk back to the guesthouse.

We were happy with the morning walk because we could see birds that are endemic to Arfak mountains. This was written by Charles Roring.

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