Bird Of Paradise

Last updated: June 2, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© David Carillet/

Male Birds of Paradise perform elaborate dances to attract a mate.

Bird Of Paradise Scientific Classification


Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Bird Of Paradise Conservation Status

Bird Of Paradise Locations

Bird Of Paradise Locations

Bird Of Paradise Facts

Main Prey
Insects, Fruit, Seeds, Berries
Fun Fact
Male Birds of Paradise perform elaborate dances to attract a mate.
Distinctive Feature
Brightly coloured feathers and elaborate dance of males
7.8 to 47.2 inches (20 to 120 cm)
Incubation Period
16 to 22 days
Tropical forest tree tops
  • Solitary
Favorite Food
There are around 50 different species!
Nesting Location
Forks of trees
Age of Molting
A few months to 7 years

Bird Of Paradise Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Green
Skin Type
5 - 8 years
50g - 430g (1.8oz - 15.2oz)
15cm - 110cm (6in - 43in)

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View all of the Bird Of Paradise images!

“Only a few species of hummingbird or pheasant rival the birds of paradise in bright colors and bizarre plumage.”

The bird of paradise bird, also spelled bird-of-paradise, lives in tropical forests in Australia and the surrounding islands. Most types are sexually dimorphic, meaning the males and females differ in appearance. While the females have muted colors and short feathers, the males sport long, brightly colored feathers streaming from their heads, beaks, wings, or tails. They use their elaborate feathers in spectacular mating dances designed to attract the attention of a female.

These birds are not just one species. In fact, around 45 distinct types have been identified.

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Bird of Paradise Amazing Facts

  • Males take a long time to mature. It may take up to seven years for them to gain their adult plumage.
  • These birds are important to their habitat as seed distributors. They do not digest the seeds in the fruit they eat.
  • When specimens were first brought to Europe during the 1500s, some people thought the Bird of Paradise was the phoenix of myth. In a native language, they were called “birds of God,” and that is from where the name “bird of paradise” was derived.

Where To Find Bird of Paradise

These birds are primarily found in Australia and New Guinea. Some types also live on nearby islands. The Australian species are commonly called riflebirds and manucodes. They live in dense forests and jungles.

These birds are elusive and can be hard to spot in the wild. Travelers are also discouraged from visiting parts of their range. However, the Port Moresby Nature Park and Adventure Park PNG in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea are easily accessible zoos that have fine collections of various species. Each park has a walk-through aviary where you can view the animals up close as they feed on fruits and fly around their rainforest habitat.

Bird of Paradise Nests

Females construct nests of ferns, leaves, and vines, usually placed in the fork of a tree. Males do not assist.

Bird of Paradise Scientific Names

These birds are in the family Paradisaeidae, Superfamily Corvoidea, and the order Passeriformes. Their class is Aves (birds), their phylum Chordata, and their kingdom Animalia. There are around 45 species divided between 15 genera – Lycocorax, Ptiloris, Manucodia, Epimachus, Phonygamus, Paradigalla, Astrapia, Parotia, Pteriophora, Lophorina, Paradisornis, Paradisaea, Seleuchidis, Semioptera, and Drepanornis.

Some species’ common and scientific names include:

  • Arfak astrapia, Astrapia nigra
  • Black-billed sicklebill, Drepanornis albertisi
  • Black sicklebill, Epimachus fastosus
  • Blue bird-of-paradise, Paradisornis rudolphi
  • Brown sicklebill, Epimachus meyeri
  • Bronze parotia, Parotia berlepschi
  • Carola’s parotia, Parotia carolae
  • Crinkle-collared manucode, Manucodia chalybatus
  • Curl-crested manucode, Manucodia comrii
  • Eastern parotia, Parotia helenae
  • Emperor bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea guilielmi
  • Glossy-mantled manucode, Manucodia ater
  • Greater bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea apoda
  • Growling riflebird, Ptiloris intercedens
  • Halmahera paradise-crow, Lycocorax pyrrhopterus
  • Huon astrapia, Astrapia rothschildi
  • Jobi manucode, Manucodia jobiensis
  • King bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus regius
  • King of Saxony bird-of-paradise, Pteridophora alberti
  • Lawes’s parotia, Parotia lawesii
  • Lesser bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea minor
  • Long-tailed paradigalla, Paradigalla carunculata
  • Magnificent bird-of-paradise, Cicinurrus magnificus
  • Magnificent riflebird, Ptiloris magnificus
  • Obi paradise-crow, Lycocorax obiensis
  • Pale-billed sicklebill, Drepanornis bruijnii
  • Paradise riflebird, Ptiloris paradiseus
  • Raggiana bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea raggiana
  • Red bird-of-paradise, Paradisaea rubra
  • Ribbon-tailed astrapia, Astrapia mayeri
  • Short-tailed paradigalla, Paradigalla brevicauda
  • Splendid astrapia, Astrapia splendidissima
  • Standardwing bird-of-paradise, Semioptera wallacii
  • Stephanie’s astrapia, Astrapia stephaniae
  • Trumpet manucode, Phonygammus keraudrenii
  • Twelve-wired bird-of-paradise, Seleucidis melanoleucus
  • Victoria’s riflebird, Ptiloris victoriae
  • Vogelkop superb bird-of-paradise, Lophorina niedda
  • Wahnes’s parotia, Parotia wahnesi
  • Western parotia, Parotia sefilata
  • Wilson’s bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus respublica

Size, Appearance, & Behavior

The smallest is the king bird-or-paradise, which weighs 1.8 oz (50g) and is less than 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The largest is the curl-crested manucode, which weighs 15 oz (430g) and is 17 inches (44 cm) in length – more than three times the size of its smaller cousin! The black sicklebill has the longest tail – from beak to tail-tip, it is 43 inches (110 cm).

Males have brighter and longer feathers than females. Females bear drab colors, usually green, black, or brown. Some have long, thin, curved beaks. Generally, females of the species have bigger beaks.

These birds exhibit some of the most interesting and entertaining behaviors of any bird. Males go to great lengths to attract the attention of females. They will often clear a “dance floor” – a branch or a patch of ground – by removing all leaves, twigs, and debris. Then, the real show begins. Depending on the species, males may hold their wings and tails at odd angles, puff out their chests, and dance rhythmically.

Beautiful bird of paradise sitting on a branch.
Beautiful bird of paradise sitting on a branch.

©Kurit afshen/

Bird of Paradise Diet

All species primarily eat fruit. They also consume arthropods, including insects and spiders. Some also eat nectar and small vertebrates.

What Does the Bird Eat?

They eat fruit and insects.

Predators and Threats

Many of these bird species are threatened by the loss of habitat. They also fall victim to hunters who wish to sell their beautiful feathers or use them for ceremonial garb. Interestingly, birdwatching tourism has deterred the hunting of the birds.

What Eats the Bird?

Predators include snakes, owls, and hawks. Females and young males have subdued colors to help them blend in with their environment and avoid predators.

Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

As already noted, these birds are noted for their elaborate mating dances. Once a female chooses the male with the best dance moves as her mate, she builds a nest and lays one to two eggs. She raises the chicks without assistance from the male.

Some species are monogamous, meaning they mate for life. Others engage in lekking. This means that groups of males display and dance together. The watching female then chooses her favorite from the group. She may mate with a different male each nesting season.

Sometimes, when territories overlap, hybridization occurs as species interbreed. This introduces even more variations in appearance.

The lifespan is five to eight years.


The numbers of these elusive birds is unknown.

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Bird Of Paradise FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Birds Of Paradises herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Birds Of Paradises are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do Birds Of Paradise belong to?

Birds Of Paradise belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum do Birds Of Paradise belong to?

Birds Of Paradise belong to the phylum Chordata.

What class do Birds Of Paradise belong to?

Birds Of Paradise belong to the class Aves.

What family do Birds Of Paradise belong to?

Birds Of Paradise belong to the family Paradisaeidae.

What order do Birds Of Paradise belong to?

Birds Of Paradise belong to the order Passeriformes.

What type of covering do Birds Of Paradise have?

Birds Of Paradise are covered in feathers.

In what type of habitat do Birds Of Paradise live?

Birds Of Paradise live in tropical forest tree tops.

What is the main prey for Birds Of Paradise?

Birds Of Paradise eat insects, fruit, seeds, and berries.

What are some distinguishing features of Birds Of Paradise?

Birds Of Paradise have brightly colored feathers, and males do elaborate dances.

How many eggs do Birds Of Paradise lay?

Birds Of Paradise typically lay 3 eggs.

What is an interesting fact about Birds Of Paradise?

There are around 50 different species of Birds of Paradise!

What is the lifespan of a Birds Of Paradise?

Birds Of Paradise can live for 5 to 8 years.

What is the Birds Of Paradise's wingspan?

The Birds Of Paradise have a wingspan of 20cm to 120cm (7.9in to 47in).

How do Birds Of Paradise have babies?

Birds Of Paradise lay eggs.

What Is a Bird of Paradise?

Birds of paradise belong to one of around 45 species of birds called by that name. They are known for their bright feathers and unique, sometimes outlandish, mating dances.

How Long Do Birds of Paradise Live?

They typically live five to eight years.

Where Do Birds of Paradise Live?

Birds of Paradise live in the tropical region of Oceania, specifically in New Guinea, Australia, and the surrounding islands. They prefer a rainforest habitat.

Do Birds of Paradise Migrate?

No, Birds of Paradise do not migrate. They live in a tropical climate that is a suitable temperature and which provides ample food year-round.

How Many Eggs Do Birds of Paradise Lay?

Birds of Paradise typically lay only one or two eggs at a time.

What Is the Bird of Paradise's Wingspan?

Birds of Paradise are small to medium-sized birds. Their wingspan ranges from less than 10 to nearly 50 inches, depending on the species.

When Do Birds of Paradise Leave the Nest?

Young birds of Paradise leave the next from 16 to 30 days after hatching.

How to say Bird Of Paradise in ...
Райска птица
Birds of Paradise
Rajske ptice
Burung-burung Cendrawasih
フウチョウ族 (Sibley)
Burung Cenderawasih
Họ Chim thiên đường

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  1. Britannica, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. Beehler, Bruce M., Thane K. Pratt, and Dale A. Zimmerman, Princeton University Press (1970) Birds of New Guinea
  4. Burnie, David, and Don E. Wilson, eds., DK Publishing (1970) Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife.

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