Bird of Paradise Facts

Updated on April 20, 2018
Deborah Minter profile image

Deborah is a research enthusiast! She takes special interest in this world's ancient mysteries.

The Bird of Paradise is one of the most unique species of bird on earth. This bird is thought of as an example of evolutionary adaptation. There are forty two species of the Bird of Paradise, native to New Guinea, Australia, and the nearby islands.

The birds of paradise produce unique sounds and bear many bright colors, with uniquely beautiful feathers. Male birds are known for their extravagant courting displays to attract females. The females observe the extraordinary display, as they pick carefully. The dance of the males is one of the most unique attributes of this bird species, some males even appear to shape shift as they dance.

Facts

The Bird of Paradise is located in South East Asia, in the jungles of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and parts of eastern Australia. They Size in, six to forty three inches and their wing span, is seven point nine, to forty seven inches. They weigh 1.8 ounces to 15.2 ounces. Life span is five to eight years. Their extremely colorful feathers Include, black, white, green, brown, blue, yellow, and red. They generally live in the tree tops of the tropical forest.

The average clutch size of the nest is three eggs. They have an omnivorous diet; they eat insects, fruit, seeds, and berries. The bird of paradise eats mostly fruit and berries, some species are partial to the flavor insects, and some are fond to the flavor of a certain species of spider. Female bird lays her eggs in a nest that can be on ground level, in the trees, or in dense foliage. The chicks may hatch within twenty days, incubation period differs between species. Hatchlings are born with few to no feathers, and are born unable to walk, the mother brings them food. The chicks are independent by one month old.

The Bird of Paradise bears unique feather, in color and shape. Some feathers spiral at the ends, appearing like curled wire.
The Bird of Paradise bears unique feather, in color and shape. Some feathers spiral at the ends, appearing like curled wire.

History

The Bird of Paradise became popular in the western world in 1996; David Attenborough took footage of the birds whilst on a trip to Papua New Guinea. He discovered the birds eating and mating habits, and the attributes of particular species.

The bird of paradise is famously known for the elaborate dance of the males. The male birds have a beautiful array of feathers; female birds are generally smaller with light brown feathers. It is believed that the absence of predators of cats has caused the birds to evolve for ornamental purposes. They are threatened by deforestation and human hunters. Habitat loss makes it difficult for the species to thrive, and their bright colored feathers make them a target for human hunters.

Scholes- "The males with the most extreme characteristics are the ones fathering all the offspring."
Scholes- "The males with the most extreme characteristics are the ones fathering all the offspring."

Courtship Rituals

The male bird attracts the female bird with his brightly colored feathers and dance routine. The Male Bird of Paradise has certain dance moves, and certainly a more spectacular dance there never was. The male birds display the flexibility of their feathers and body shape, which is emphasized with bright extraordinary colors that would put a painting to shame. The male dances extravagantly with song, as he displays his feathers, and she chooses if the performances appeals to her. The females are picky in their choice. The mating ritual of this bird species has long been thought of as an example of sexual selection. As each generation of bird passes, the most colorful and extravagant looking birds procreate.

The birds have been observed to take these dancing rituals seriously. Male birds have been seen, to clean his beak and environment to prepare the stage for his performance, for when the female arrives. The female chooses if the performance was spectacular enough to stay, or inadequately presented, to fly away.

A male Superb Bird of Paradise, performs a courting dance, as the female watches. The Superb Bird of Paradise is able to shape shift into the appearance of a disc.
A male Superb Bird of Paradise, performs a courting dance, as the female watches. The Superb Bird of Paradise is able to shape shift into the appearance of a disc.

The more unique species of this unique species:

  • Magnificent Rifle bird- He courts female alone. The Magnificent Rifle bird can be considered the romantic bird. He perches himself on a vine and hides his head behind his wings to reveal metallic blue feathers. He flaps his wings to make buzzing sound. He bears rounded wings, and his feathers have a soft rounded edge. The wings are beautiful to look at, an adaptation most likely developed for the purpose of courtship. They can fly but not for long distances.

  • Greater bird of paradise- The greater bird Congregates in groups up to twenty to court females. Their displays are synchronized and coordinated. They display feathers and jump around from branch to branch. Unfortunately not all males in the performance will win her; at times females tend to choose the same male. Females appear to prefer males who are part of the more coordinated crowds.

  • Western Parotia- The males of the Western Parotia takes special interest in their courting performance. The male prepares the place he woos females. He removes leaves and branches to create the stage for courtship dances. He leaves one raised horizontal perch, from which the female can perch and watch. He moves quickly from side to side and wiggles his upper body to reveal bright blue and yellow feathers, while spinning six wire-like feathers around his head. The feathers of the Western Parotia are topped with flat paddles that look like they are buzzing around the males head.

  • King Bird of paradise- This is the smallest bird of paradise, and is red in color. They live in the High canopy, puffing their feathers into a fan like shape. There are two jewel like feathers at the end of their central tail feathers. It appears like they have long wires that are spiraled at the end.

One of the most beautiful birds that exist on this planet is the Bird of Paradise. If a bird enthusiast ever happens to be visiting New Guinea, he might be lucky enough to spot one.

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