Bird of Paradise

Habitat, Appearance and Courtship Dances

Habitat, Appearance and Courtship Dances of the Bird of Paradise

First European History of the Bird of Paradise in Magellan's Circumnavigation

History of the Bird of Paradise up to the Present Day

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Location and Habitat

The birds of paradise are members of the Paradisaeidae family of the Passeriformes order.  These birds are typical found in Australasia, particularly in New Guinea, and in fact a bird of paradise appears in the Papua-New Guinea flag.  As well as in the tropical regions of the North of Australia, Birds of Paradise are also found in Indonesia and the Moluccas Islands.  The habitat of these birds is mainly tropical forest. 


These birds are well-known for extreme gender dimorphism, the females having monotonous plumage, in tones of gray and chestnut, whereas the males of the majority of the species are very strikingly colorful indeed, and usually posessing long and beautiful tails. However, not all species have these remarkable differences between males and females.  For example both sexes of the Trumpet Manucode (Manucodia keraudrenii) are equipped with a blue-black feather dress.

Courtship Dances of the Bird of Paradise

In many birds of paradise, then male bird tries to get the female's attention and approval by dancing in a highly elaborate fashion.  Many of these dances are very striking to behold.  Courtship displays may involve several males displaying together in in a type of courtship arena in the catchment area of several females. They lure their female admirer admire inside by loud of calls to the arena, where the male birds present their decoration feathers, by throwing these over their body. The females select one of the males to mate with, apparently depending on how impressed she is by his displays.  Other types of display may be enacted on a branch, with the male sometimes hanging upside down to attract the female's attention.  Branch displays can be amazing in the way that the male performs his spectacle without falling off.

In the majority of the species, where there is significant gender dimorphism the female incubates and hatches the chicks alone.  The male bird of paradise is normally solitary, whereas the females live together in small groups with their young offspring.  However, in birds where the male is similar in plumage to the female, the male also takes part in the parental cares. Hibridization is a common phenomenon in these birds, and results in animals with intermediate plumages, which have been confused in the past as proper species.
Next... First European History of the Bird of Paradise in Magellan's Circumnavigation

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