Lesser Bird of Paradise

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image: lesserBOP.jpg

Common Name: Lesser & Greater Bird of Paradise
Scientific Name: Paradisaea minor & Paradisaea apoda

Size: Lesser BOP 12-12 ½ inches (32cm); Greater BOP 13-13 ½ inches (34cm)

Habitat: Lesser: Misool and Jobi Islands of West Irian Jaya and northern New Guinea; Greater: Southwest New Guinea and Aru Island, Indonesia. Birds of Paradise are found in lowland and hill forests.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown.

Diet: Food largely consists of fruits, some seed and insects.

Breeding: The males are polygamous and perform courtship displays in groups. Females lay two pink-colored eggs with darker markings in a nest high above ground usually in a tree. Females are maroon-brown with no barring on their chests.

Cool Facts: The members of the genus Paradisaea are best known for their plumage. The Greater Bird of Paradise was described from specimens brought back to Europe from trading expeditions. These specimens had been prepared by native traders, removing their wings and feet for shipment. This led Europeans to think that the birds never landed but were kept permanently aloft by their plumes, hence the name "Bird of Paradise". The Latin name, “apoda” means without feet.

As with all Birds of Paradise, the Lesser and Greater have elaborate mating rituals. Males gather in a clearing taking up positions they held during previous mating seasons and have competitive courtship displays. They spar individually with their neighbors often putting on extravagant mating dance, plumage displays and vocal challenges with each other to woo a female.

Found in Songbird ReMix Cool and Unusual Birds 2

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