What are Bird of Paradise?

There are about 50 different kinds of birth of paradise, but they are all found in the tropical islands of the Western Pacific and in Northern Australia. Birds of paradise range in size from that of a crow to that a sparrow and each kind has its own special pattern of brilliant colours.

It is this display of brilliant colours in their plumage that makes these birds so unusual. But these beautiful birds are actually related to the common crow.

The first Europeans to see these birds were the early Dutch explores in the fifteenth century. They looked so beautiful that these men believed the birds were fed from the dews of heaven and the nectar of flowers, which explains their name.


Only the males have the brilliant plumage. The reason for this is not yet understood. It may be attract the females, or it may be to draw natural enemies away from the nests of the mother and the young and so protect them.

Most birds of paradise built flimsy, platform-like nests in the treetops. In this they lay their streaked and spotted eggs. The birds eat almost anything they can find, from fruit to snails and insects.

During the mating season, the male birds gather and show off their fine feathers before the can find, from fruit to snails and insects. During the mating season, the male birds gather and show off their fine feathers before the females.

While these birds are usually wary, at this time they concentrate so much on showing off that hunters can shoot them at close range. The native used to shoot them with blunt arrows so as not to injure the plumes.

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