Bird Of Paradise
Birds of paradise are the members of Paradisaeidae family and Passeriformes order. There 42 species and 15 genera of these birds. They are found in New Guinea. Some species are also found in Australia.
Male birds of paradise are well known for their plumages. These birds are sexually dimorphic. Males have very long feathers extending from wings, beak, tail or head while females have short feathers. Their primary diet includes fruits and can also eat some arthropods.
Mostly these birds are monogamous. Some also exhibit lekking (males dancing together). They mostly inhabit dense rainforests. They have an average size of about 15 centimeters to 110 centimeters or 6 inches to 43 inches, average weight of about 50 grams to 430 grams, average wingspan of about 7.8 inches to 47.2 inches or 20 centimeters to 120 centimeters.
These birds are often threatened by loss of habitat and hunting. They are listed as least concerned by IUCN. They are widely distributed in the forests of New Guinea. They can live up to 8 years.
Bird Of Paradise Scientific Name:
Birds of paradise belong to Paradisaeidae family, Corvoidea superfamily, Passeriformes order, Aves class, Chordata phylum and Animalia kingdom. There are 45 species within 15 genera. The 15 genera are Ptiloris, Lycocorax, Manucodia, Phonygamus, Epimachus, Paradigalla, Parotia, Astrapia, Pteriophora, Paradisornia, Lophorina, Paradisaea, Semioptera, Seleuchidis and Drepanornis. Some species include,
- Black billed sicklebill (Drepanaronis albertisi)
- Arfak astrapia (Astrapia nigra)
- Black sickebill (Epimachus fastosus)
- Brown sicklebill (Epimachus meyeri)
- Blue bird of paradise (Paradisornia rudolphi)
- Carola’s parotia (Parotia carolae)
- Bronze parotia (Parotia berlespchi)
- Curl crested manucode (Manucodia comrii)
- Crinkle collared manucole (Manucodia chalybatus)
- Wilson’s bird of paradise (Cicinnurus respublica)
- Western parotia (Parotia sefilata).
Bird Of Paradise Meaning:
There are 5 bird of paradise flowers that are grouped under Strelitzia. Bird of paradise flower looks like a bird during flight.
There are many symbolizations and meanings of the bird of paradise flower. Some of them are,
- This flower represents paradise on Earth.
- It represents freedom and travelling freely because it has close resemblance with the bird during flight.
- It can represent magnificence, success and excellence.
- It can symbolize royalty and regality.
- It represents faithfulness in relationships and optimism too.
- It also symbolizes uniqueness and creativity.
- This flower is the important part of culture in Hawaii.
Bird Of Paradise Care:
Following are some tips to take care of your bird of paradise,
- Proper supply of light should be considered because bird of paradise prefers direct bright light.
- When 50% of the soil becomes dry then start watering your bird of paradise and keep watering until it starts flowing through the drainage hole.
- The dust from dark leaves can be removed by occasional misting.
- Temperature should be 65 to 80 degrees.
- Feed them liquid fertilizer once a month.
- If there are chemicals in your water then leaves begin to turn brown especially at the edges. So, it’s better to use filtered water.
- They are mildly toxic to humans as well as pets. So be careful while handing.
Bird Of Paradise Colours:
Birds of paradise exhibit bright colours ranging from brown, grey, yellow, red, blue, black, white to green. Females usually exhibit drab colours i.e. black, green or brown. Males exhibit more bright and long feathers as compared to females.
Bird Of Paradise Cost:
Bird of paradise is always expensive. Average cost of bird of paradise is $130 to $400. However, the cost depends on factors like size etc.
Bird Of Paradise Diseases:
Bird of paradise is well known for its disease free life but it’s not totally immune to illness. The disease Southern bacterial wilt is caused by Pseudomonas solanacearum. This bacterium invades the roots. The Southern bacterial wilt pathogens are transferred through fallen plant parts, infected water and contaminated equipment. The symptoms include wilting of leaves and turning of some parts of the plant to green hued that leads to the death of leaves. Some adverse effects include roots death, plant death and bloom failure.
In order to control this disease, you have to remove dead plant parts. Overhead irrigation should be avoided because standing water for a lot of time invites many bacteria. You should also keep your hands and all the equipment’s clean in order to avoid the spread of disease.
Bird Of Paradise Growing Conditions:
Some of the growing conditions of bird of paradise are as follows,
- Bird of paradise requires a lot of heat. Optimum temperature should be 50 F.
- The placing of bird of paradise in full sun plays important role in its growth. If it is in partial shade then it is protected by strong sun and heat. It grows shorter having smaller flowers in full sun and taller having larger flowers in part shade.
- The soil should be fertile and must have excellent drainage.
- Addition of some organic matter such as compost to the soil prior to planting is necessary.
- During first 6 months after planting, regular watering is necessary. If leaves become yellow then it’s a sign that either you are giving too much or not enough water.
- Feed with fertilizers once a month.
- You should remove dead leaves and old worn out flower stalks by cutting them. Pruning on seasonal basis is not necessary.
Bird Of Paradise Habitat:
These birds are found in New Guinea and Australia. Some species are also found in nearby islands. The Australian birds of paradise are called as manucodes and riflebirds. These birds inhabit jungles and forests. Some are found in upper canopy of rainforest in mountains. They also live in abandoned gardens in small cities and villages.
Bird Of Paradise Facts:
Some of the facts about bird of paradise are,
- Birds of paradise are most commonly found in New Guinea and Australia.
- The most distinctive features of these birds are bright coloured feathers and elaborate dances of male birds of paradise.
- They inhabit tropical rainforests.
- They are omnivores and can eat insects, seeds, fruits and berries.
- They have solitary lifestyle.
- There are almost 45 to 50 species of bird of paradise.
- They form their nests in the forks of trees.
- The age of molting of bird of paradise is a few months to 7 years.
- Usually males take a lot of time to mature. They take almost 7 years to develop their adult plumage.
- These birds are known as seed distributors because they don’t digest the seeds of fruits they eat.
- In native language of Europe, these birds were called as “birds of God”. It is an old myth. The name “bird of paradise” is derived from that old name.
- The only competitors to bird of paradise in case of its bright colours and bizarre plumage are hummingbird and pheasent.
- The major threats to these birds are habitat loss and hunting.
- They are listed as least concerned by IUCN.
- The average lifespan is 5 to 8 years.
Birds of paradise are small to medium sized birds, 45 different species occur that are found in tropical rainforests of New Guinea, Australia and can also found in nearby islands. They are sexually dimorphic. They are well known for their long bizarre plumages and bright colours. They have umique behavior of exhibiting elaborate dancing by males to attract females.