Amazing Birds of Paradise

As of today, 42 species of birds of paradise are known in the fauna of the World. But there was a time when they were considered God's creatures and when thousands of them were killed for decorations.

Victoria's Riflebird (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The story of the discovery of Birds of Paradise

The first to see these birds were travelers from Magellan's expedition during a voyage around the world in the XVI century.

Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise 2 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The story of the discovery of Birds of Paradise

All birds of paradise are distributed on the large island of New Guinea, with the exception of two genera, Lycocorax and Semiptera, which live in the Moluccas and four species distributed in northeastern Australia.

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Amazing Birds of Paradise

All Birds of Paradise are distributed on the large island of New Guinea, with the exception of the two genera Lycocorax and Semiptera, which live in the Moluccas and in northern and eastern Australia.

Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The story of the discovery of Birds of Paradise

The Bird of Paradise Paradisaea apoda was one of the first to enter Europe. And the legless and wingless appearance of the skins suggested that these birds never landed on the ground and were constantly in the air due to their feathers.

Black-billed Sicklebill 2 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The story of the discovery of Birds of Paradise

Local traders removed the wings and legs from the skins of these birds, as local tribes used them as decoration in their clothing and rituals, and not to dispel the legend of the birds of the gods that soar in the clouds, never descending to earth, and feed on manna from heaven.

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

The story of the discovery of Birds of Paradise

It was believed that the female lays a single egg in the recess on the back of the male, which constantly flies above the clouds. In the same place, in the sky, a chick hatches.

Brown Sicklebill (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Feathers as ornaments

The feathers of Birds of Paradise in the past were popular in Europe as an ornament for women's hats and fans. Demand for bird feathers grew in the 19th century, reaching unprecedented imports at the beginning of the 20th century - 80,000 skins a year!

King Bird-of-Paradise 2 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Feathers as ornaments

Feather hunting and the destruction of bird habitat have led to a dramatic reduction in the numbers of certain species.

Magnificent Bird-of-Paradise (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Beauty vulnerable

Soon the number of birds of paradise began to fall rapidly, and prices rose sharply. In 1908, Great Britain imposed restrictions on the shooting of birds of paradise, and the Netherlands - in 1931, when the demand for their feathers vanished.

Brown Sicklebill 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Beauty vulnerable

Currently, the destruction of living space is mainly due to deforestation.

Emperor Bird-of-Paradise 1 (1904)Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Birds of Paradise today

As of today, there are 42 species of birds of paradise in the world that belong to 15 genera (HBW).

Western Parotia 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Amazing Birds of Paradise

Most species of Birds of Paradise are known for their bright and varied plumage of males. The elongated and refined feathers extending from a beak, wings, a tail or a head are especially allocated. Females are monochromatic: brown, brown, green.

Wilson's Bird-of-Paradise 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Amazing Birds of Paradise

Males have fountains of delicately colored plumage gushing literally from their armpits, turning into openwork flowing cascades. Whimsical crests, earrings, pennants, ribbons, trains, lace skirts ...

Glossy-mantled Manucode (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Amazing Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise are inhabitants of dense tropical forests, but some climb into the cool, foggy forests of highlands and even to subalpine shrubs up to 4000 m above sea level.

Stephanie's Astrapia 1 (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Meals Birds of Paradise

Their diet includes mainly juicy fruits and seeds, many drink nectar (especially those with thin curved beaks), cope with nuts, collect insects on leaves and branches, catch small tree frogs and lizards.

Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise (1904)Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Reproduction of Birds of Paradise

The sexual behavior of Birds of Paradise is different: from monogamy to polygamy. An interesting pattern: the more modest the plumage of the male, the less he is inclined to "polygamy" and the more an exemplary family man and a caring father he is. Males of these species help their only "lady of the heart" in brooding clutches and feeding offspring.

Magnificent Riflebird (1904) by Naturwissenschaftliches Institut Wilhelm Schlütter in Halle a.S.Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

Reproduction of Birds of Paradise

In most cases, birds of paradise build their nests on branches. And only the royal bird of paradise suits him in the hollows of trees. The female lays and incubates only 2 eggs.

Credits: Story

Harrison, Thomas P. 1960. Bird of Paradise: Phoenix Redivivus. Is. 51 (2): 173-180. doi:10.1086/348872. Bird of the World. https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/species/paradi7/cur/introduction

Credits: All media
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