email a friend
printable version
Solomons Frogmouth  Rigidipenna inexpectata
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a small range in which the area, extent and quality of habitat are in decline, with a corresponding decline in the population suspected as a result. However, its population is not severely fragmented and it occurs at more than 10 locations. It is therefore listed as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
Cleere, N.; Kratter, A. W.; Steadman, D. W.; Braun, M. J.; Huddleston, C. J.; Filardi, C. E.; Dutson, G. 2007. A new genus of frogmouth (Podargidae) from the Solomon Islands - results from a taxonomic review of Podargus ocellatus inexpectatus Hartert 1901. Ibis 149(2): 271-286.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Podargus ocellatus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into P. ocellatus and Rigidipenna inexpectata following Cleere et al. (2007).

37 cm. A large podargid with eight rectrices (Cleere et al. 2007). Crown brown, usually lightly mottled with pale buffish spots. Nape, back and rump brown, sometimes tinged rufous, and faintly barred or speckled blackish-brown. Lores and ear coverts brown with blackish-brown mottling. Supercilium generally pale buff, paler and more distinct in front of eye. Chin and throat brown speckled with blackish-brown and often boldly spotted whitish. Breast and flanks slightly paler brown than upperparts, speckled blackish-brown and boldly spotted white or very pale buff. Undertail coverts buff, feathers tipped or edged pale tawny or brown. Tail brown, broadly barred pale buff; bars speckled and edged blackish brown. Sexes very similar, but males may be darker on the rump and head and less rufous overall. Iris yellow, orange or brownish; bill brown to reddish-brown. Mouth pale lemon. Feet horn, pale yellow or cream. Claws pale yellow-grey. Similar spp Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus has narrower bill and distinct blackish-brown crescent-shaped markings on the sides of the throat and chest, less uniform upperparts and less distinctly barred tail, amongst other differences. Voice A series of short whistles that rise in pitch and are repeated at irregular intervals; also a series of descending whistles, repeated in quick succession (Cleere et al. 2007).

Distribution and population
Rigidipenna inexpectata is endemic to the Solomon Islands, having been recorded on Bougainville, Choiseul, Santa Isabel and San Jorge, and recently reported from Buka (Hadden 2004, Cleere et al. 2007).

Population justification
The species's population size has not been formally estimated, but, given the paucity of records, a realistic preliminary estimate may be of 2,500-9,999 individuals (G . Dutson in litt. 2011). This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to continued habitat loss and degradation; however, it has been recorded in secondary, degraded and otherwise altered habitats (G. Dutson in litt. 2011). The annual rate of forest loss in the Solomon Islands was 0.24% in 1990-2005 and 0.25% in 2005-2010, equating to a loss of c.4.8% over 20 years (FAO 2010). The rate of decline in the species's population is thus likely to be slow.

The species is found in primary forest, secondary growth and gardens, from sea-level to at least 700 m (Cleere et al. 2007, G. Dutson in litt. 2011). It probably feeds mainly on large insects (Holyoak 2001). One nest was found in the horizontal fork of a branch in the canopy of a tall tree, c.25 m from the ground, and was a shallow structure built with sticks (Schodde 1977 in Cleere et al. 2007).

It probably experiences some habitat loss and degradation through clearing for agriculture and timber extraction, but the population is not thought to be in rapid decline (G. Dutson in litt. 2011). The annual rate of forest loss on the Solomon Islands was 0.24% in 1990-2005 and 0.25% in 2005-2010, equating to a loss of c.4.8% over 20 years (FAO 2010). Furthermore, the species has been recorded in altered habitats such as logged forest, regrowth and gardens (G. Dutson in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out targeted surveys to obtain a population estimate. Monitor the population and the extent and condition of the species's habitats. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected. Conduct further research into the species's ecology and life history.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Calvert, R., Derhé, M., Taylor, J.

Dutson, G.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Rigidipenna inexpectata. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Podargidae (Frogmouths)
Species name author E. Hartert, 1901
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 16,700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species