Astrapia nigra Click to enlarge image
Arfak Astrapia, male and female Image: James King, artist WT Cooper
© William T Cooper

Fast Facts

Common name

Arfak Astrapia

Scientific name

Astrapia nigra


Astrapia (Greek, flashing or lightning); nigra (Latin, black); common name refers to distribution of this species.


Sexually dimorphic. Adult male, 76 cm including tail feathers; female, 50 cm. Male has head blue to purple velvety jet black, cheeks with blue highlights, nape to mantle cape yellowish-green, upper breast dense velvety black with bordered iridescent coppery bronze, upper wing and huge graduated tail black with purple iridescent sheen. Female has black head and remainder of plumage drab blackish brown, with iridescent blue sheen on the nape.


Fruits and arthropods.


Mid and upper montane and the subalpine forests; 1700-2250m.


Assumed to be polygynous. Unknown whether males display solitarily or in leks.


Breeding season undefined; juveniles observed in July-August. Female builds and attends nests alone. Incubation and nestling period unknown. Hybridisation with Black Sicklebill known.

Status and conservation

May be vulnerable owing to restricted range and possibly low density.


Indonesia: West Papua: Bird’s Head Peninsula: Arfak and Tamrau Mountains.