Black sicklebills, like many of their relatives, are primarily omnivorous, feeding on fruits, insects and other animal prey. And on the tip of each of those feathers, it’s tipped with blue, and somehow when he puts all those feathers together and goes horizontal they all line up so perfectly that you get a continuous blue line of feathers. It’s one of the displays in which the bird totally changes his shape. He completely changes into something kind of otherworldly. Black-billed Sicklebill. Black Sicklebills are elegant, slender birds with long bills and tails. And that’s just kind of the really incredible part of it – the precision of these feather ornaments to make something so unusual and extraordinary. Male display + 1. How Yellow-billed Loons Survive in the Arctic, Zoom! The male has a mostly black plumage with glossy green, blue and purple scale-like feathers. Filmed and photographed by Tim Laman. But that all changes when a female comes by. It’s sort of a dark brown black sort of comet shaped object with a little blue ring around the rim. But that all changes when a female comes by. The male transforms into a horizontal comet shape on his display perch. [Explore more at birdsofparadiseproject.org, youtube.com/LabofOrnithology], Black Sicklebills are elegant, slender birds with long bills and tails. — [Ed] This ovoid shape is made out of dozens of feathers all along the side of his body, on either side. The comet shape is accentuated by a narrow blue band of iridescence created when those flank feathers line up precisely. But that all changes when a female comes by. He doesn't use his wings to do this; he uses flank feathers. Identification. He doesn’t use his wings to do this; he uses flank feathers. The male transforms into a horizontal comet shape on his display perch. Male + 1. Unlike most mostly frugivorous cousins, it tends to feed on both items at an equal proportion. Help complete the species pages by contributing your photographs, audio recordings, and sightings to eBird. POWERED BY MERLIN. Passeriformes > Paradisaeidae. Learn about Black Sicklebill: explore photos, sounds, and observations collected by birders around the world. These bird-of-paradise have long, down curved bills and very long tails. The Black Sicklebill is the largest-plumbed member of its family; including the tail, the males average 100 cm in length and the females about 48 cm. Drepanornis albertisi. — [Ed] He lifts those feather up around his head and makes this kind of amazing black ovoid shape, something very non-birdlike. The sicklebill's diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods. Sign in to see your badges. — [Ed] He goes from a movement of more or less a recognizable bird-like form, albeit a pretty extraordinary one with his long decurved bill and long tail, and these flank feathers sitting out at his side. Explore more at www.birdsofparadiseproject.org. — [Tim] And then not only that, he also leans over on his side and bobs up and down. Keep learning, participate in group conversations. — [Tim] And he raises them up around his head in a complete ring, okay, and completely closes off with only his beak sticking through. The Black sicklebill (Epimachus fastosus), is a species of large bird-of-paradise of midmountain forests of New Guinea. It typically feeds solitarily, but mixed foraging flocks aren't abnormal. So he becomes this sort of comet shape thing. The male of the species is polygamous and performs a horizontal courtship display with the pectoral plumes raised around its head. The male transforms into a horizontal comet shape on his display perch. — [Tim] Well, the black sicklebill is, I think, is one of the most amazing bird-of paradise displays. [Ed] Yeah, I mean, of course there are many broken off snags throughout this forest, and how do you find the one that the black sicklebill’s displaying on? : The Aerial Display of the Common Nighthawk, Storing Food: The Granaries of Acorn Woodpeckers. The spectacular display of the black sicklebill on its display post. Black Sicklebills are elegant, slender birds with long bills and tails. Whereas if you were just looking at him in normal bird form, all of those feathers would just have blue tips, they wouldn’t make any sense, they wouldn’t line up to make any kind of pattern. He doesn’t use his wings to do this; he uses flank feathers. Listen More audio recordings.