Greater Birds Of Paradise

the greater birds of paradise

The Greater Bird of Paradise, Paradisaea apoda, is a bird of paradise in the genus Paradisaea. The Greater Bird of Paradise is the largest member in the genus Paradisaea, and can be up to 43 cm long, maroon brown with a yellow crown, dark emerald green throat and blackish brown breast cushion.

male paradise


Kingdom      : Animalia
Phylum         : Chordata
Class              : Aves
Order             : Passeriformes
Superfamily  : Corvoidea
Family            : Paradisaeidae



The male is adorned with large yellow ornamental flank plumes and a pair of long tail wires.

The female has unbarred maroon brown plumage.

beaked and long tailed paradise


Carolus Linnaeus named the species Paradisaea apoda, or “legless bird of paradise”, because early trade-skins to reach Europe were prepared without feet by natives; this led to the misconception that these birds were beautiful visitors from paradise that were kept aloft by their plumes and never touched the earth until death.

The majority of species are found in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia. The family has 42 species in 15 genera.The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of the sexually dimorphic species (the majority), in particular the highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings, tail or head.

For the most part they are confined to dense rain forest habitat. The diet of all species is dominated by fruit and to a lesser extent arthropods. The birds-of-paradise have a variety of breeding systems, ranging from monogamy to lek-type polygamy.


female bird of paradise

The Greater Bird of Paradise is distributed to lowland and hill forests of southwest New Guinea and Aru Islands, Indonesia. A small population was introduced by Sir William Ingram in 1909-1912 to Little Tobago Island of West Indies in an attempt to save the species from extinction due to over hunting for plume trades. The introduced populations survived until at least 1958 and most likely are extinct now.

A common species throughout its native range, the Greater Bird of Paradise is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

greater birds of paradise

Diet / Feeding

The diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds and small insects.

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