Emperor Bird of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Emperor Bird of Paradise

 © William T. Cooper

Common name

Emperor Bird of Paradise

Scientific name

Paradisaea guilielmi

Etymology

Paradisaea (Latin, paradise); guilielmi (named William, after Willem II Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia; common name refers to Willem).

Description

Sexually dimorphic. Adult male averages 33 cm in length (excluding tail feathers) and female, 31 cm. Male has iridescent green facial mask and upper breast, white flank plumes with yellow bases and central two ‘wire’ tail feathers. Adult female has extensive dark brown head and breast mask, and dark to mid brown underparts.

Diet

Mostly fruits with some arthropods.

Habitat

Primary hill and lower montane forests, also pockets of forest in gardens; 450-1500m, mainly 670-1350m.

Courtship

Polygynous; lekking males display at traditional display perches, which can be across several adjacent trees. Males converge on each other and assume static displays, hop along branches, erect flank feathers and hang upside-down, expanding flank plumes to form white disk while twisting side to side.

Breeding

Breeding season at least September-December; females build and attend nests alone; incubation, nestling and development periods not known. Recorded hybridising with Lesser and Raggiana Birds of Paradise.

Status and conservation

Near threatened; restricted range, not well known, possibly under threat from logging.

Distribution

Papua New Guinea: Huon Peninsula: Saruwaged, Finisterre, Rawlinson and Cromwell Ranges.
 


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