At times, people refer to a place as “heaven on Earth” when they are amazed by its incredible beauty. This description is best suited for the tropical rain forests of eastern Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia, where unique and breathtaking birds, known as birds-of-paradise, can be found. These birds are enchanting due to their strikingly colourful plumage, which is in sharp contrast to that of their female counterparts. Interestingly, there is a misconception that these birds are always in the air and never touch the ground until they die, which makes them a fascinating subject of study. Take a look at one of these eye-catching birds, Wilson’s bird, with its vibrant and attractive appearance.
The Cicinnurus respublica, also known as Wilson’s bird, is a stunning bird-of-paradise that is native to Indonesia. This species can mainly be found in lowland rain-forests and hill forests that are approximately 300 meters high on the West Papuan islands of Waigeo and Batanta. One of the distinct features of this small bird is its unique coloration. The male Cicinnurus respublica has predominantly black and red feathers with a yellow cape and a turquoise crown. The crown is actually a patch of bare skin that has a double-cross blackish pattern. Furthermore, it has a green breast, rich blue feet, and two curved violet feathers. On the other hand, the female Cicinnurus respublica looks entirely different from the male as it has brownish feathers and a bare blue crown. Male Cicinnurus respublica birds are known for their peculiar appearance and their stunning display of colors during courtship. They have a diet that primarily consists of fruits and small insects. Due to the loss of their natural habitat, they have been categorized as near-threatened. Additionally, they are also referred to as King Birds.
The King Bird-of-Paradise, also known as Cicinnurus regius, is a small passerine bird found in the lowland forests of New Guinea and adjacent islands. It is the smallest bird-of-paradise, measuring around 16 cm in length, but is renowned for its vibrant colors, which include crimson, white, and bright blue feet. The bird’s green-tipped, fan-like plumes on its shoulders and two long tail wires, decorated with emerald green disk feathers, distinguish it from others. Unfortunately, females lack the brilliant coloring and are merely brown birds with barring below. The bird feeds on fruits and arthropods and is classified as a bird of “Least Concern” regarding conservation status.
The Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise, also known as kumul, is a widely distributed bird species in southern and northeastern regions of New Guinea. It is the national bird of Papua New Guinea and is known for its stunningly colorful feathers that are collected and worn during local ceremonies and festivals. This bird species is approximately 13 inches long and has a maroon and brown body with a grayish-blue bill. The males possess a yellow crown and dark emerald-green throat, while females have short tail feathers and a relatively dull maroonish-brown color. The Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise generally feeds on fruit and arthropods and is famous for its unique courtship display that involves shaking its feathers, clapping its wings, and moving its head to attract potential partners. It falls under the category of “Least Concern” in terms of conservation status.
“The red bird” can be rephrased to “The bird with crimson feathers.”
Describing the unique appearance of Paradisaea rubra, also known as the red bird-of-paradise, it can be observed that this stunning bird boasts glossy red feathers. This species is native to Indonesia and can be found inhabiting both lowland forests and hill forests up to 600 meters in elevation on the Waigeo, Batanta and Gemien islands located in West Papua. The male displays brown and yellow coloring, with a dark brown iris and grey legs. Its bill is yellow and the face exhibits an emerald green hue while the ornamental plumes are a vibrant red. Meanwhile, the female is smaller in size, without the red plumes and featuring a brown face. Their diet includes fruit, berries and arthropods. During breeding season, males attract females through intricate courtship displays. Another fascinating bird to note is the Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia.
The Astrapia mayeri, famously known as the ribbon-tailed astrapia, is a bird species that can be found in specific areas of the sub-alpine forests located in the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. One of their most distinguishing characteristics is their three-foot long white tail. The male ribbon-tailed astrapia has a velvet black body with an olive green and bronze plumage, accompanied by their long ribbon-like tails which can cause issues during flight. These long tails are primarily used to attract female birds, whereas the female astrapias have a brown coloration and lack the long tails. These birds use their bills to forage for insects on trees and the ground, as well as enjoy feeding on fruit.
The Victoria’s Riflebird is a big bird that can be found in the lowland and hill forests of southwest New Guinea and Indonesia. The males have a striking yellow crown, head, and nape, along with a brown back. Their flank plumes are also quite beautiful as they start off yellow at the base and transition to white with maroon streaks further down. Females, on the other hand, have unbarred maroon plumage. Both males and females have blue bills and yellow irises. These birds enjoy eating fruit, insects, and seeds and fortunately, they are not presently endangered.
The Victoria’s Riflebird is a tiny bird that can only be found in the wet and tropical regions of the Atherton Tableland in northeastern Queensland, Australia. It loves to live in lowland and hill rain-forests, and it is one of the few birds-of-paradise that can be found in Australia. This avian species owes its name to Queen Victoria of England, possibly because its plumage resembles the color of the uniform worn by English riflemen. Male Victoria’s Riflebirds have striking black feathers with a shimmering green head and throat. They are known for putting on elaborate performances to impress their mates, twisting and swinging their heads around. Their female counterparts have a reddish-brown hue. In terms of diet, these birds mainly consume small insects and fruits. They use their long-curved bills to tear tree bark, similar to how woodpeckers feed.
The twelve-wired bird is a fascinating creature that has captured the attention of many bird enthusiasts. This unique bird is known for its impressive display of feathers, which can be seen in its twelve long tail wires. Its distinctive appearance has made it a favorite among bird watchers who are always on the lookout for this rare species. With its stunning plumage and distinctive features, the twelve-wired bird is truly a sight to behold.
This particular species of bird of paradise is well-known for its unique appearance, boasting 12 thin, wire-like filaments that protrude from the back of its stunning yellow feathers. The rest of its body is covered in a velvety black color, with a long black bill and striking red iris. Its pinkish feet are elongated with sharp claws. Female birds have a brown appearance. One interesting aspect of this bird’s behavior is how it courts potential mates. During courtship, the male will brush the 12 wires against the female’s face. Despite its noticeable appearance and unique mating rituals, this bird is fortunately classified as “Least Concern” by conservationists. It can be found throughout New Guinea and Salawati in Indonesia.
The Lesser Bird of Paradise is a fascinating creature.
The lesser bird-of-paradise is a medium-sized bird that can often be spotted in lowland and swamp forests in Northern New Guinea, Yapen, and Misool. Male birds are characterized by their striking dark emerald-green throats, yellow heads, and backs. They also have long protruding wires from their tails and magnificent yellowish flank plumes that fade towards the end. On the other hand, females have whitish underparts and dark-brown heads. The polygamous males primarily feed on fruits and insects and are famous for their courtship displays, which involve undulating and floppy flights. Another notable bird of paradise species is the King of Saxony.