bird of paradise

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bird of paradise,

common name for any of 43 species of medium- to crow-sized passerine birds of New Guinea and the adjacent islands, known for the bright plumage, elongated tail feathers called wires, and brilliant ruffs of the males. Their common name is derived from 16th-century Spanish explorers, who believed them to be visitors from paradise. The standard-winged bird of paradise, Semioptera wallaceii, is brownish with a glimmering green gorget at the throat. At the end of the 19th cent. over 50,000 bird of paradise skins per year were exported; many species were almost wiped out. It is now illegal to import skins into the United States. The 13-in. (32.5-cm) twelve-wired bird of paradise, Seleucidis ignotus, is found in mangrove swamps, and has brilliant yellow plumes and an iridescent green and black throat, which are displayed to the female during courtship. The smallest member of the family is the scarlet king bird of paradise. It is only 6 in. (15 cm) long and has green plumes and blue legs. Many species are polygamous, and the drab-colored female assumes all the nesting duties. The biological basis for the elaborate coloration and displays seems to be the need for an accurate means of distinction and recognition between species, since hybridization is disadvantageous. Birds of paradise are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Paradisaeidae.

bird of paradise

1. any songbird of the family Paradisaeidae of New Guinea and neighbouring regions, the males of which have brilliantly coloured ornate plumage
2. bird-of-paradise flower any of various banana-like plants of the genus Strelitzia, esp S. reginae, that are native to tropical southern Africa and South America and have purple bracts and large orange or yellow flowers resembling birds' heads: family Strelitziaceae
References in periodicals archive ?
color) It may take several years for birds of paradise to bloom.
com, Birds of Paradise towel and Chinese Rose dressing gown, prices from pounds 15, www.
Those who grow up in Southern California tend to see birds of paradise as unruly clumps of paddle-shaped leaves with gaudy and scentless blooms.
Tropical plants such as giant birds of paradise are used, and steep-banked walls of vinca with periwinkle flowers cover the slope leading to the seasonal creek.
Let the birds of paradise fly up your nose May an elephant caress you with its toes May your wife be plagued with ladders in her hose Let the birds of paradise fly up your nose.
Gazanias, ice plants, geraniums and birds of paradise head the list of plants from South Africa, where the coastal climate mimics our own.
Viewers on Sunday night were stunned by a baby elephant lost in a sandstorm, birds of paradise in courtship and a great white shark attacking a seal.
Not far from where the woman died Wednesday, there were some plastic birds of paradise left beside a tree where a young woman died in another crash earlier this year, said Carol Macksoud, whose home is near the site of both crashes.
a few mornings a week and stopping by on weekends to pull weeds and replace them with colorful bougainvilleas, birds of paradise, jade plants and canna lilies.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Regarding winter bloomers, both birds of paradise and kaffir lilies are best known for their orange flowers.
Yet here in the Valley, in our own back yards, birds of paradise grow almost like weeds.
Dragon Wing' begonias are recommended as a ground cover under giant birds of paradise (Strelitzia nicholii), ornamental banana trees and cannas - those summer-flowering rhizomatous plants with irislike flowers in red, pink, yellow, orange and white.