When you get the name bird of paradise, that means that you are probably very beautiful. Birds of paradise is a general term that describes a group of 39 species of tropical birds that live in eastern Australia and Indonesia, as well as Papua New Guinea. In addition to their wonderful plumage, they are also known for their strange and complex courtship rituals. So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most beautiful bird of paradise species.
Goldie's Bird of Paradise
This bird species is endemic to Papua New Guinea and was discovered by Scot Andrew Goldie after who it was also named. These birds are one of the most colorful birds of paradise, but they are considered to be vulnerable with the population size of 500. Males are around 30cm long and have beautiful green and yellow plumage. They also have gray breasts, with ornamental tails that are crimson. Females are brown with cinnamon undertones.
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This bird is actually discovered later than all other birds of paradise. Fred Shaw Mayer saw this bird species in 1938. They are similar in size to previously mentioned Goldie's bird of paradise. Males have tail feathers that can be three times longer than their bodies which is the biggest tail feathers to body relation size of all bird species in the world. Females have a brown body and iridescent head.
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Red Bird of Paradise
This bird is endemic to Indonesia and they are one of the rare birds of paradise where males are very similar to females. They have a dark-green face and a couple of black tails shaped like a corkscrew. They also have red ornamental tail plumes. The only big difference between males and females is in size because females are smaller and don't have these ornamental plumes.
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Lesser Bird of Paradise
Another attractive bird species is Lesser bird of paradise and they too display interesting courting rituals and behavior. They are endemic to the northern New Guinea and some surrounding islands. They feed mostly on insects and fruit. Lesser bird of paradise is also considered vulnerable thanks to habitat destruction. Males have a green throat, ornamental plumes that are yellow at the base and couple of long tail wires. Females are maroon and also look pale in comparison with males.
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Greater Bird of Paradise
Greater bird of paradise is the largest bird in this group because males can grow up to be around 40 cm long. Even though they look a lot like the lesser bird of paradise, they are completely different species. Males have a green face and yellow and silver crown. Their body plumage is maroon, while their flank is yellow at the base. Females are smaller than males and have maroon plumage all around. They are endemic to southwest New Guinea.
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This bird of paradise is one of the first ones that have been brought to Europe thanks to Antonio Pigafetta who was part of Magellan's voyage around the globe. Males have beautiful plumage on their stomach that also covers two pairs of white plumes which they can raise or lower whenever they want. Females have longer tails, but they are not as colorful because they basically have a plain, brown plumage.
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Blue Bird of Paradise
Blue bird of paradise is considered to be the most beautiful bird in the entire world by many experts, but the thing that stands out the most with this bird species is the courtship ritual that males perform to attract the female. Males hang upside-down from a tree branch and display their blue and cinnamon colored flank plumes. Males also have two tail feathers that look like a ribbon. Females are almost entirely brown in color. This bird is endemic to Papua New Guinea and is currently on the brink of extinction.
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Raggiana Bird of Paradise
This bird species is specific because of their polygamous lifestyle. They are endemic to Papua New Guinea where they are officially declared as the national bird and are well-known for their big red flank plumes. They also have long and black tails. As it is the case with many other bird species, females look rather dull when compared to males. Males clap their wings and shake heads to attract females.
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King Bird of Paradise
Even though this bird species has such a powerful name, it is misleading since King bird of paradise is actually the smallest of them all. Males are white and crimson, but they have blue feet that really stand out. Also, they have green plumes on their shoulders. In addition to this already impressive display, they also have two long tail wires that are green at their tip. Once again, females are pretty dull in comparison because they are completely brown. This bird also displays amazing courtship behavior with a lot of acrobatic moves.
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This is one of the most colorful and also one of the smallest birds of paradise. Males have red, blue, violet and black in their plumage while their head is completely black. Their tails are shaped like a spiral and they look extremely elegant. Females are almost completely brown, except for a little bit of traces of blue on their crowns.
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