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Species of the month[edit]

Blue Bird of Paradise[edit]

Paradisaea rudolphi

Paradisaea rudolphi

Some facts on this bird:

Head and body length: about 30 cm.

Weight: 125 to 190 grams.

Range: Papua, New Guinea.

Habitat: Lower montane forest; requires primary forest to display.

Diet: Feeds mainly on fruit.

Surviving number: 2,500–10,000.

Conservation status: Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1).

First described: By Otto Finsch & Adolf Bernard Meyer in 1885; originally named Paradisornis rudolphi.

If you're looking for the ultimate show-off, try Paradisaea rudolphi. It's difficult to find a more spectacular courtship display than that of this bird. The male hangs upside down, spreads his flank feathers into a triangular fan, raises and lowers the long tail plumes and catches the light in such a way that it shimmers in blue and violet. This display extravaganza is accompanied by cawing and rhythmic buzzing sounds. When it comes to incubating the eggs and caring for the young, the female is on her own. The paradise of this bird is about to become a paradise lost, threatened by habitat loss due to agriculture, logging and mining.

See also: Species of previous months