Princess Stephanie's Astrapia

Astrapia stephaniae

Stephanie's astrapia (Astrapia stephaniae), also known as Princess Stephanie's astrapia, is a species of bird-of-paradise of the family Paradisaeidae, native to the Bird's Tail Peninsula (Papua New Guinea). This species was first described by Carl Hunstein in 1884. Stephanie's astrapia is a most distinctive bird-of-paradise, and extremely unmistakable to recognize. The males of this species reach around 84 cm in length, and a considerable portion of its length comes from the long, 47 cm, glossy, black central tail feathers, which almost compete with the exaggerated, white tail feathers of the male Ribbon-tailed astrapias. The upper head of the male is an iridescent greenish-blue, shading to indigo blue in the back; the chin to the upper breast section is an iridescent aqua to greenish-blue, though the throat area is usually a dark, shaded tint depending on the angle of view. Below the iridescent upper breast section, dense, black feathers lie beneath it, and underneath the dense feathers lies a narrow, iridescent, coppery-red to orange-reddish band. The rest of the underparts are an iridescent, dull coppery-red to black (again, depending on the angle of view). The upperparts, namely the mantle (or back), are a dull light-green, but may appear brownish or black in some views. The upperwing is black, with a conspicuous purple gloss, the underwing is a lighter shade of black. The most distinctive feature, the extremely exaggerated central tail plumes, are wholly black with a purple gloss, and white rachides. The feet are grey-blackish, the bill is blackish, the mouth is pale green, and the eyes are dark brown. The female, as typical in the family Paradisaeidae, is drastically different from the male. She is mostly dark brown with a dark black-bluish head and upperbreast, black-barred, cinnamon-brown underparts, and a reasonably long, blackish tail.
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