Friday, June 3, 2011

King Bird-of-Paradise

Male King Bird-of-Paradise
Not to be confused with the Emperor Bird-of-Paradise or the King of Saxoy Bird-of-Paradise, the King Bird-of-Paradise is the smallest of the entire Bird-of-Paradise family.

Found in the forests of New Guinea, the males of the species are brilliantly colored with tones of red of green, and sport a stark white chest. Females are, unfortunately, a drab brown, but that coloring helps to camouflage them from danger.

The purpose of the bright colors is, of course, to attract a mate. Their courtship ritual involves the males puffing out his white chest feathers, dancing, and hanging upside down from branches while performing additional acrobatic displays. How could a lady bird resist?

If a female is impressed, mating takes place, but then the male moves on to finding yet another mate. Some unlucky males will never mate at all.

Check out yet another wonderful clip from BBC Wildlife (yay David Attenborough!) that features the mating dance of this tiny, yet magnificent species.



IUCN Status :  Least Concern
Location : New Guinea
Size : Length up to 6in (16cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Paradisaeidae -- Genus : Cicinnurus -- Species : C. regius

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