Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Look at this gorgeous bird. This bird is not called ‘Bird of paradise’ just like that. The Europeans that discovered it in the sixteenth century had never seen anything more beautiful in the wild. Therefore, they believed that this bird straight flew to Earth from the Garden of God. Thus, the name – ‘Bird of the Gods’  or ‘Birds of Paradise’. The family of these birds is known as Paradisaeidae, also derived from word paradise.

There are more than 40 birds species belonging to the same  family,  but each one is different from the other. Some birds have bright yellow and green feathers, others might have bold red or vibrant blue. Some even have shimmering feathers that catch the light !!

Male birds are particularly dramatic. To begin with, they have tail feathers that are surprisingly long. They are known as wires or streamers. These streamers can be three times the length of their body. When these birds need little company, they perform elaborate dances, puff out, flutter, sway, hang upside down, spread their wings, and even distort their bodies into totally different shapes. They look quite snazzy!!

Majority of These birds are only found on the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific. Very few are found in eastern Australia. The tribal people of New Guinea consider their feathers as sacred.

Because of their bright feathers that can be used for fashion accessories, killing of  these birds have been going on for two thousand years. Their population in the wild is becoming alarmingly low.


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