Bird of Paradise: Description, Types, Pictures, & Fun Facts

Bird of Paradise

Classification of Bird Paradise

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Paradisaeidae

Bird of Paradise Distribution

  • Asia
  • Oceania

Bird of Paradise Description

Bird of paradise is also spelled as a bird of paradise. The bird belongs to the family paradiseaeidae. Birds of paradise can be found in tropical forests in Australia and other surrounding islands.

The physical appearance of males differs from females that means they are sexually dimorphic. The color of females is muted and has short feathers while the males consist of long and brightly colored feathers.

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Their feathers stream from their heads toils and beaks. The elaborated feathers were used by the bird of paradise to attract their mating partners by performing spectacular mating dances.

Bird of Paradise

Birds of paradise are classified into various species. A total of 45 species have been identified as the bird of paradise. Amazing facts about bird of paradise

• Males reach sexual maturity relatively later than females. Usually, males reach their maturity at the age of 7 years.

• In their habitats, the birds have great distributors. This is because the birds eat fruits and the seeds were not digested by them.

• During the 1500s, the specimens of birds of paradise were first brought to Europe. At first, it was thought that the birds were also known as “birds of god” in their native language and their name “bird of paradise” was also derived from this name.

Bird of Paradise Distribution

The birds are commonly distributed in Australia and New Guinea. Some species are also found in the nearby islands. The species of bird of paradise commonly found in Australian regions are also named manucodes or riflebirds.

Their common habitats include forests and jungles. Bird of paradise is usually not spotted in wild. These birds are elusive and also discourage several travelers while they visit some parts of their range.

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However, several species of Bird of Paradise can be seen in zoos such as Port mores by a nature park and adventure park PNG in Papua, New Guinea that has a great collection of these species.

The zoos also provide the facility of walking through an aviary from where a person can see the animals by closer and feed those fruits. The birds fly around their rainforest habitats in these zoos.

Bird of Paradise Nests

The bird of paradise generally builds their nests in the fork of a tree. The nest was only built by females by the use of ferns, wins, and leaves. Females were not assisted by males while constructing a nest.

Bird of Paradise Species

Bird of paradise belongs to family paradisacidea and superfamily conioidea. The birds belong to the kingdom Animalia phylum chordate and Aves (birds) class.

The bird of paradise has a total of 15 genera which are further classified into 45 species. The 15 genera are named Lycocorax, Ptiloris, Manucodia, Epimachus, Phonygamus, Paradigalla, Astrapia, Parotia, Pteriophora, Lophorina, Paradisornis, Paradisaea, Seleuchidis, Semioptera, and Drepanornis.

The common and scientific names of bird of paradise are-

  • Arfak astrapia, Astrapia nigra
  • Black- billed sicklebill, Drepanornia albertisi
  • Black sicklebill, Eplmachus fastosus
  • Blue bird-of-paradise, Paradisornis rudolphi
  • Brown parotia, Parotia berlepschi
  • Carola’s parotia, Parotia carolae
  • Bronze parotia, Parotia berlepschi
  • Crinkle-collared manucode, Manucodia chalybatus
  • Curl- crested manucode, Manucodia comrii
  • Eastern parotia, Parotia helenae
  • Emperor bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea guilielmi
  • Glossy-mantled manucode, Manucodia ater
  • Greater bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea apoda
  • Halmahera paradise-crow, Lycocorax pyrrhopterus
  • Growling riflebird, Ptiloris intercedens
  • Jobi manucode, Manucodia jobiensis
  • King bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus regius
  • King of Saxony bird-of-paradise, Pteridophora alberti
  • Lawes’s parotia, Parotia lawesii
  • Lesser bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea minor
  • Long-tailed paradigalla, Paradigalla carunculata
  • Magnificent bird-of-paradise, Cicinurrus magnificus
  • Obi paradise-crow, Lycocorax obiensis
  • Magnificent riflebird, Ptiloris magnificus
  • Pale-billed sicklebill, Drepanornis bruijnii
  • Raggiana bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea raggiana
  • Red bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea rubra
  • Ribbon-tailed astrapia, Astrapia mayeri
  • Short-tailed paradigalla, paradigalla brevicauda
  • Splendid astrapia, Astrapia splendidissmia
  • Standard wing bird-of-paradise, Semioptera wallacii
  • Stephanie’s astrapia, Astrapia stephaniae
  • Trumpet manucode, Phonygammus keraufrenii
  • Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise, Seleucidis melanoleucus
  • Victoria’s riflebird, ptiloris victoriae
  • Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise, Lophorina niedda
  • Wahnes’s parotia, Parotia wahnesi
  • Western parotia, Parotia sefilata
  • Wilson’s bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus respublica

Behavior, Size, and Appearance of Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise is average-sized. The smallest species of this group is king paradise. The weight of this bird is around 1.8 oz and its length is 6 inches. However, the curl-crested manucode is the largest species that weigh up to 15 oz and its length is around 17 inches.

The size of the curl-crested bird is three times larger than the smallest species. A species named the black sicklebill consists of the longest tail.

The length of the tail is around 43 inches from its beak to tail-tip. As compared to females, the males have much brighter and longer feathers. The color of females is usually drab such as green, black, or brown.

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The beaks of some species are long, thin, and curved. Usually, beaks are bigger in females than males. Some of the most entertaining and interesting facts about the birds are also present in birds of paradise. To attract females for mating and to get their attention, males go to great lengths.

Often a “dance floor”- a branch or a patch of ground is often cleared by them. They remove them by using leaves, twigs, and debris.

The real show begins after this. To attract females, the males dance rhythmically by holding their wings and tails at odd angles but it depends on the species.

Bird of Paradise Diet

Fruits are the major diet for all the species of bird of paradise. Their prey also includes insects and spiders and other arthropods. Some species also consume nectar and small vertebrates.

Bird of Paradise Predators and Threats

Loss of habitat is emerging as a major threat to these species. In some areas, they were also hunted by hunters that sell their beautiful feathers and used them to prepare ceremonial garb. However, the interesting fact is that hunting is now banned by birdwatching tourism.

What Eats the Bird?

The bird of paradise consists of several predators including snakes, owls, and hawks. The subdued color is found in young males and females thus it helps them to blend properly with the environment also helps them to avoid predation.

Bird of Paradise Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

It is discussed above that the birds are well known for their mating dances that are much elaborated. The female builds its nest and lays one or two eggs if she chooses its male partner based on his dance.

The male birds do not help the females in raising their chicks. Some species of birds of paradise are monogamous which means they mate for life and live with a single partner while other species are engaged with lekking. It means that the males display and dance together in groups.

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The female watches their dance and then chooses their male partner from the group. In each nesting season, the male dances with a different female.

In some cases, hybridization occurs in some places where the territories of the birds overlap. Due to hybridization, more variations are introduced in their appearance.

Bird of Paradise Population

The bird of paradise is considered an elusive bird and its population is still unknown.

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