Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Paradisea-apoda, Greater Bird of Paradise, Cendrawasih Besar


The birds of paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes. They are found in eastern Indonesia, Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia. The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings or head. Birds of paradise range in size from the King Bird of Paradise at 50 grams (1.8 oz) and 15 cm (6 in) to the Black Sicklebill at 110 cm (43 in) and the Curl-crested Manucode at 430 grams (15.2 oz).

Best known are the members of the genus Paradisaea, including the type species, the Greater Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea apoda. 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 so that they could be used as decorations. This was not known to the explorers and led to the belief that the birds never landed but were kept permanently aloft by their plumes. This is the origin of both the name “birds of paradise” and the specific name apoda – without feet.

Birds of paradise are generally crow-like in general body-form, and, indeed are the brother group to the Corvids (crows & jays). They have stout or long bills and strong feet, with around two-thirds of the species being strongly sexually dimorphic.

They live in tropical forests, including rainforest, swamps and moss forest. In most species, the diet consists predominantly of fruit, although riflebirds and sicklebills also favour insects and other arthropods.[1]

Most species have elaborate mating rituals, with the Paradisaea species using a lek-type mating system. Others, such as the Cicinnurus and Parotia species, have highly ritualised mating dances. Males are polygamous in the sexually dimorphic species, but monogamous in at least some of the monomorphic species. Hybridisation is frequent in these birds, suggesting the polygamous species of bird of paradise are very closely related despite being in different genera. Many hybrids have been described as new species, and doubt remains regarding whether some forms, such as Rothschild’s Lobe-billed Bird of Paradise, are valid.[citation needed] Despite the presence of hybrids, some ornithologists hypothesise that at least some putative hybrids are valid species that may be extinct.

Birds of paradise build their nests from soft materials, such as leaves, ferns, and vine tendrils, typically placed in a tree fork. Clutch size is somewhat uncertain. In the large species, it is probably almost always just one egg. Smaller species may produce clutches of 2-3.(Mackay 1990) Eggs hatch after 16-22 days, and the young leave the nest at between 16 and 30 days of age.The manucodes are the most primitive members of the group.


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