Bird of paradise

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Birds of paradise)
For the flowering plant of this name, see Bird of Paradise (flower).
Birds of paradise

Female Victoria's Riflebird
Scientific classification


Lesser Bird of Paradise Paradisaea minor (c)Roderick Eime
Lesser Bird of Paradise Paradisaea minor (c)Roderick Eime

The birds of paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes, found in Oceania. Most of the species are found in New Guinea, and a bird of paradise is depicted on the flag of Papua New Guinea. Some scholars merge this family together with the Corvidae; despite their extravagant plumage, they are anatomically among the most primitive songbirds.

Many species of birds of paradise are known for the males' extravagant breeding plumage; the different species display a staggering number of feather forms, such as brilliant colours, long "wires," broad fans, tufted flanks, and metre-long tails. Most species have elaborate mating rituals, with the Paradisaea species having a Lek-type mating system. Others, such as the Cicinnurus and Parotia species, have highly ritualized mating dances, with Paroia species presenting ballet tutu-like display plumage in a dance that is among the most astounding behaviors of all birds due to its completely accidental, but nonetheless uncanny resemblance to hula and limbo dances.

The best known for their plumage are the species of the genus Paradisaea, including the type species, Paradisaea apoda, the Greater Bird of Paradise. This species was described from specimens brought back to Europe from trading expeditions. These specimens had been prepared by native traders by removing their wings and feet, which led to the belief that the birds never landed but were kept permanently aloft by their plumes. This gave both the name "birds of paradise" and the specific name apoda - without feet.

The native societies of New Guinea often use bird of paradise plumes in their dress and rituals, and the plumes were very important in Europe in ladies' millinery in past centuries. Hunting for plumes and habitat destruction has reduced some species to endangered status. Habitat destruction due to deforestation is the predominant reason today. Hunting for their plumes for millinery was a significant factor in the late 19th and early 20th century, but as of today, they enjoy legal protection and hunting is only permitted at an sustainable level to fulfil the ceremonial needs of the local tribal population (for Pteridophora plumes, scavenging from old bowerbird bowers is encouraged). When King Mahendra of Nepal was crowned in 1955, it was found that the bird of paradise plumes of the Nepali royal crown were in need of replacement; due to the hunting ban, replacements were eventually procured from a confiscated shipment seized by United States Customs.
Traditional hunting occurs since a long time, possibly since the begin of human settlement. It is a peculiarity that among the most frequently-hunted species, males start mating opportunistically even before they grow their ornamental plumage; this may be an adaptation maintaining population levels in the face of hunting pressures.

Due to the peculiarities of their mating system, birds of paradise are among the birds where hybrids most frequently occur, together with ducks and hummingbirds, which both also have highly ornamental plumage in males and often form groups for mating purposes.

    • (many other families)
    • Family Paradisaeidae
      • Loria's Bird-of-paradise Cnemophilus loriae
      • Crested Bird-of-paradise Cnemophilus macgregorii
      • Yellow-breasted Bird-of-paradise Loboparadisea sericea
      • Macgregor's Bird-of-paradise Macgregoria pulchra
      • Paradise-crow Lycocorax pyrrhopterus
      • Glossy-mantled Manucode Manucodia atra
      • Jobi Manucode Manucodia jobiensis
      • Crinkle-collared Manucode Manucodia chalybata
      • Curl-crested Manucode Manucodia comrii
      • Trumpet Manucode Manucodia keraudrenii
      • Long-tailed Paradigalla Paradigalla carunculata
      • Short-tailed Paradigalla Paradigalla brevicauda
      • Arfak Astrapia Astrapia nigra
      • Splendid Astrapia Astrapia splendidissima
      • Ribbon-tailed Astrapia Astrapia mayeri
      • Princess Stephanie's Astrapia Astrapia stephaniae
      • Huon Astrapia Astrapia rothschildi
      • Western Parotia Parotia sefilata
      • Carola's Parotia Parotia carolae
      • Lawes' Parotia Parotia lawesii
      • Wahnes' Parotia Parotia wahnesi
      • King-of-Saxony Bird-of-paradise Pteridophora alberti
      • Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus
      • Paradise Riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus
      • Victoria's Riflebird Ptiloris victoriae
      • Superb Bird-of-paradise Lophorina superba
      • Black Sicklebill Epimachus fastuosus
      • Brown Sicklebill Epimachus meyeri
      • Black-billed Sicklebill Epimachus albertisi
      • Pale-billed Sicklebill Epimachus bruijnii
      • Magnificent Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus magnificus
      • Wilson's Bird of Paradise Cicinnurus respublica
      • King Bird-of-paradise Cicinnurus regius
      • Wallace's Standardwing Semioptera wallacii
      • Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise Seleucidis melanoleuca
      • Lesser Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea minor
      • Greater Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea apoda
      • Raggiana Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea raggiana
      • Goldie's Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea decora
      • Red Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea rubra
      • Emperor Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea guilielmi
      • Blue Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea rudolphi
      • Lesser Melampitta Melampitta lugubris - tentatively included in this group
      • Greater Melampitta Melampitta gigantea - tentatively included in this group

External link

de:Paradiesvögel lt:Rojaus paukščiai pl:cudowronki


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools