Blue Bird of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Blue Bird of Paradise

 © William T. Cooper

Common name

Blue Bird of Paradise

Scientific name

Paradisaea rudolphi

Etymology

Paradisaea = Latin; bird of Paradise; rudolphi = commemorating Archduke Rudolf (1857-1889), Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary.

Description

Sexually dimorphic. Both sexes, 30 cm (excluding tail wires). Male has head and mantle black, broken eye ring white, wings blue, flank plumes rusty amber above and blue below, crimson and black band formed by inner flank plumes, central tail feathers like narrow ribbons with expanded ends. Female similar but with underparts chestnut-brown with obscure ventral barringand no elongated flank plumes or central tail feathers.

Diet

Mostly fruit, with some small animals like arthropods and insects.

Habitat

Lower montane forest, forest edges and dense secondary growth; 1100-2000m, mainly 1400-1800m.

Courtship

Polygynous. Solitary display on traditional perches, singing on high perches and displaying on low ones. Displays recorded April-late November. Male lowers himself backwards on perch until hanging upside down with wings closed and flank feathers spread while expanding central black band and swaying rhythmically; may swing tail ribbons side to side.

Breeding

Only females build and attend nests. Breeding at least July-February; may occur all year. Incubation over 18 days. Known to hybridise with Lawes’ Parotia and Raggiana Bird of Paradise.

Status and conservation

Vulnerable; restricted range and low density.

Distribution

Papua New Guinea: central and eastern mountains of central ranges, west to Mount Hagen, Kompiam, and Tari area of Southern Highlands
 


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