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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Species Fact Profile: Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana)

Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise
Paradisaea raggiana (Sclater, 1873)

Range: Southern and Northeastern New Guinea
Habitat: Tropical Rainforest
Diet: Fruit, Insects, Leaves, Lizards
Social Grouping: Breeding Leks, Solitary
Reproduction: Polygamous.  Males congregate in groups called "leks" to display to females.  The nest is a bowl of leaves and stems in a tree.  Females incubates and eggs and raises chicks alone. 1-2 eggs are incubated for 18-20 days
Lifespan: 15 Years
Conservation Status: IUCN Least Concern, CITES Appendix II

  • Body length 34 centimeters, weigh 200-340 grams, males slightly larger than females
  • Maroon-brown body with a gray-blue bill.  The male has a yellow crown and emerald throat with a yellow collar, a blackish upper breast, long black tail, and large plumes on his flanks.  Females are drabber and lack the long tail feathers
  • Males display for females from prominent perches by clapping their wings and shaking their heads, displaying their plumage; displaying in groups allows females to compare several males at one time
  • It is an important seed disperser for some fruiting trees, and is the man disperser for mahogany and nutmegs
  • There are two subspecies, differing in the colors of their plumes: those of the nominate are deep red, while those of P. r. augustavictoriae (Empress-of-Germany Bird-of-Paradise) are apricot-orange
  • Known to hybridize with other species of bird-of-paradise (blue, lesser, greater, emperor)
  • The plumes are collected by natives for use in ceremonial headdresses, but not to an extent that threatens the species
  • Named after Marquis Francis Raggi of Genoa, sometimes called Count Raggi's Bird-of-Paradise
  • The National Bird of Papua New Guinea, it appears on the national flag.  Its local name, kumul, is the nickname of the country's national rugby league team.
  • Some local tribes believed that the birds never touched the ground ever

1 comment:

  1. Super interesting find! If you find that there are too many birds on your property, check out bird removal NJ.