The birds of paradise are songbirds of the family Paradisaeidae. They live in eastern Indonesia, Maluku, Papua New Guinea, Torres Strait Islands, and eastern Australia. Best known are the members of the genus Paradisaea, including the type species, the greater bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea apoda.
|Birds of paradise|
|Adult male Lesser bird-of-paradise,|
They are best known for the remarkable plumage and behaviour of the males. They are an extreme example of how sexual selection works. Females choose males who they instinctively see are fine specimens of their species. The colours of the plumage, the construction of the nest, the song and the mating dance all play a part. In some species the pairing is monogamous, and in others the males are polygamous. If they are monogamous, the males look much like the females. If they are polygamous, the males are very much flashier than the females. In both cases, it is the female who makes the choice of partner.
What they look likeEdit
Birds of paradise have bodies that look like a crow. They have stout or long bills and strong feet, with around two-thirds of the species being strongly sexually dimorphic.
What they eatEdit
Species of Birds-of-paradiseEdit
- 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
- Arfak astrapia, Astrapia nigra
- Splendid astrapia, Astrapia splendidissima
- Ribbon-tailed astrapia, Astrapia mayeri
- Stephanie's astrapia, Astrapia stephaniae
- Huon astrapia, Astrapia rothschildi
- Western parotia, Parotia sefilata
- Carola's parotia, Parotia carolae
- Berlepsch's parotia, Parotia berlepschi
- Lawes's parotia, Parotia lawesii
- Eastern parotia, Parotia helenae
- Wahnes's parotia, Parotia wahnesi
- King of Saxony bird of paradise, Pteridophora alberti
- Superb bird-of-paradise, Lophorina superba
- Magnificent riflebird, Ptiloris magnificus
- Eastern riflebird, Ptiloris intercedens
- Paradise riflebird, Ptiloris paradiseus
- Victoria's riflebird, Ptiloris victoriae
- 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
- Greater melampitta, "Melampitta" gigantea - tentatively included in this group
Formerly placed here
- Loria's bird-of-paradise, Cnemophilus loriae - probably closer to Melanocharitidae (berrypeckers) (Cracraft & Feinstein 2000).
- Crested bird-of-paradise, Cnemophilus macgregorii - probably closer to Melanocharitidae (Cracraft & Feinstein 2000).
- Yellow-breasted bird-of-paradise, Loboparadisea sericea - probably closer to Melanocharitidae (Cracraft & Feinstein 2000).
- Macgregor's giant honeyeater (formerly "Macgregor's bird-of-paradise"), Macgregoria pulchra - recently found to be a honeyeater (Cracraft & Feinstein 2000).
- Lesser melampitta, Melampitta lugubris - for some time tentatively placed here; probably Orthonychidae (logrunners)
- Frith, Clifford B. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 228–231. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
- Irested, Martin et al 2009. An unexpectedly long history of sexual selection in birds-of-paradise. Evolutionary Biology 9 (235): 235. 
- Firth, Clifford B. & Dawn W. 2009. Family Paradisaeidae (Birds-of-paradise). In del Hoyo, Josep et al (eds). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14, Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 404–459. ISBN 978-84-96553-50-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paradisaeidae.|
- BBC Arts: Painting paradise: Art meets nature in Papua New Guinea. 
- Birds of Paradise
- Streaming video of a few birds of paradise's courtship display