• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Category:Ptilonorhynchidae - BirdForum Opus

Avenue bower of a Great Bowerbird
Photo by Hans&Judy Beste

Family: Ptilonorhynchidae


Bowerbirds form a monophyletic family with 20 closely related species. They occur in Australia and New Guinea.
They share several characters (of legs, feet, palate, syrinx and sperm) which are not unique to them but define them as distinctive family.
Three groups can be formed according to their breeding behaviour:

  • The Catbirds of the genus Ailuroedus form long-standing monogamous pairs. Their courtship is simple and unspectacular.
  • The males of the genera Scenopoeetes, Archboldia, Amblyornis and Prionodura build maypole or stage-bowers. They range from rather simple to huge and complex, mostly extensively decorated with various items of various colours. They perform a complex display when a female arrives. Like the next group they are polygynous, the male builds and attends the bower to attract many females, the female builds and attends the nest alone.
  • The males of the genera Sericulus, Ptilonorhynchus and Chlamydera build avenue-type bowers which are also decorated. Their size varies but they are usually smaller than maypole-type bowers.


Ptilonorhynchidae is a family in the Order Passeriformes.
The taxonomic position of the bowerbirds has long been unclear and they have been included in the Birds-of-paradise. Now their status as a distinct family is widely accepted. Their closest relatives seem to be the Australian Treecreepers and the Lyrebirds.

Family Ptilonorhynchidae viewedit

Genus Ailuroedus viewedit
A. buccoides White-eared Catbird
A. stonii Ochre-breasted Catbird
A. geislerorum Tan-capped Catbird
A. maculosus Spotted Catbird
A. astigmaticus Huon Catbird
A. melanocephalus Black-capped Catbird
A. jobiensis Northern Catbird
A. arfakianus Arfak Catbird
A. melanotis Black-eared Catbird
A. crassirostris Green Catbird

Genus Scenopoeetes viewedit
S. dentirostris Tooth-billed Bowerbird

Genus Archboldia viewedit
A. papuensis Archbold's Bowerbird

Genus Amblyornis viewedit
A. inornata Vogelkop Bowerbird
A. macgregoriae MacGregor’s Bowerbird
A. subalaris Streaked Bowerbird
A. flavifrons Golden-fronted Bowerbird

Genus Prionodura viewedit
P. newtoniana Golden Bowerbird

Genus Sericulus viewedit
S. aureus Masked Bowerbird
S. ardens Flame Bowerbird
S. bakeri Fire-maned Bowerbird
S. chrysocephalus Regent Bowerbird

Genus Ptilonorhynchus viewedit
P. violaceus Satin Bowerbird

Genus Chlamydera viewedit
C. guttata Western Bowerbird
C. maculata Spotted Bowerbird
C. nuchalis Great Bowerbird
C. lauterbachi Yellow-breasted Bowerbird
C. cerviniventris Fawn-breasted Bowerbird


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

Recommended Citation


This category has the following 8 subcategories, out of 8 total.