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 ?
Feathers of these birds - five species of birds of paradise - appear super-black because of how the internal nanostructure of the feathers absorbs and reflects light, a new study has found.
Also, the ultra-black plumage is particular to birds of paradise that are involved in mating displays, with the feathers of the others showing a microstructure that did not allow for the same amount of structural absorption of light.
There are forty-two known species of birds of paradise, of which thirty-eight are found in New Guinea, two in Australia, and two in Maluku in eastern Indonesia.
The hunting of the birds of paradise occurs during the mating season, which is in the dry season between May and November.
Except for the individuals of the genera Manucodia and Macgregoria, which are monogamous and do not show sexual dimorphism, all the birds of paradise (Astrapia, Diphyllodes, Parotia, Lophorina and especially Paradisea) are polygamous with pronounced differences between males and females.
Since then, they have been commonly known in the West as birds of paradise.
Meanwhile, Birds of Paradise - Plumes and Feathers in Fashion is a tribute to the elegance of feathers used in the fashion industry past and present, featuring extravagant catwalk creations from British, Belgian, French and Italian designers including Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Christian Dior, Thierry Mugler, Prada and Gucci.
com, silk hanger, pounds 4.95, www.debenhams.com, Birds of Paradise towel and Chinese Rose dressing gown, prices from pounds 15, www.johnlewis.com.
Flowers & Confetti floor cushion, EUR47.10, www.burford.co.uk, Birds of Paradise round cushion, EUR24.50, oriental gold silk cushion, EUR41.25, both www.johnlewis.com, corsage, EUR12.75, from www.accessorize.co.uk.
Paradise Khaki bowl, EUR11.50, jar, EUR26.99, Birds of Paradise towel, from EUR18.75, all www.johnlewis.com, small blue Veronica jar, EUR14.10 Monsoon by Denby Monsoon, www.houseoffraser.co.uk, hand wash, EUR3.99 and candle, EUR2.75, both www.boots.com.
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.
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.