Covered In Glorious Golds And Emerald Green, Finished Off With Sumptuous Ornamental Plumes – Meet The Lesser-bird-of-paradise!
Though his name describes him as lesser, once you see one, there is no way you can think of him as less than anything but stunning!
The lesser bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea minor), is a bird-of-paradise in the Paradisaea genus. 32cm long, the male is maroon-brown with a yellow crown and brownish-yellow upper back. He also has a dark emerald-green throat and a pair of long tail-wires all finished off with ornamental flank plumes which are an intense deep yellow, fading out towards white.
The female is maroon in color with a dark brown head and white belly.
Juveniles of the species tend to look more like the female as opposed to the male.
Lesser birds of paradise are found throughout the forest of Papua New Guinea and its adjacent islands of Misool and Yapen.
These birds seem to prefer lowland rainforest, swamp forest, edges, and secondary growth. It is able to adapt and adjust to habitat degradation by humans, often being found at altitudes of 1550 meters.
The Lesser Bird of paradise dines mainly on fruits but will also take any arthropods it comes across.
The breeding season for this species runs from July through to February when the female builds a bulky cup-shaped nest from sticks, twigs, dead leaves, and vines after choosing the male who puts on the best stunning display for her. Placed in a tree about six meters from the ground the interior is lined with vegetal fibers and plant rootles. She lays 1-2 pinkish eggs and incubates them for 18-20 days. After they hatch she alone takes care of the young.
The Lesser bird of paradise is a species reported to be common and widespread in spite of the caged bird trade and hunting for feathers by local people.