Meet the Little Bird of Paradise – A beautiful species covered in gold and emerald green

Have you ever seen the lesser bird of paradise? I am not sure why it has the word “less” because if you look at it, you will fall in love and be mesmerised by its beauty!

Scientifically known as Paradisaea minor, these 32cm long birds are primarily found in Papua New Guinea, Misool and Yapen. Male birds have deep maroon feathers, a bright yellow crown, a frosty blue bill, and a buff upper back.

Their necks are a stunning emerald green; to add to their beauty, a pair of long tail feathers and elongated flank plumes complete their look. On the other hand, the female has deep maroon feathers, a brown head and a pearly white belly.

Young birds, regardless of sex, look more like females than males. The lesser birds of paradise prefer to stay in rainforests and swamp forests for the humidity and sufficient food supply.

Although they quickly adapt to different environments, they prefer to be at an altitude of 1,550 meters. Their diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods.

Regarding breeding, the season starts in July and ends in February. The male bird woos the female by putting on the best display, and when the female bird is impressed, she starts building a solid nest out of sticks, twigs, fallen leaves and vines.

The nest is placed about six meters from the ground and is attached to the tree with plant fibres and roots. The female then lays 1-2 eggs, incubates them for about 20 days, and cares for the young after they hatch.

Females are known to lay up to 12 eggs and are a one-woman army taking care of their young. Here are more facts about the stunning lesser bird of paradise!

Males are polygamous and court females in leks!
A single lek can have up to 12 adult males or a combination of juveniles and adults, all with the sole purpose of impressing the female. Older males occupy the centre of the lek.

Snakes, owls and hawks mostly hunt them.

Although their population is decreasing, they are not endangered. According to experts, they are not globally threatened.

They are solitary birds that come together only during mating.

The average lifespan of these birds is five to eight years.

Juvenile nestlings leave the nest about 20 days after hatching.

Although these birds are tolerant, their temperament can change when their territory is invaded.

They use a series of high-pitched “wak” sounds to communicate. Their long notes include “wik-wong-wau-wau”.

Listen to the majesty of the lesser bird of paradise below

Although they are not poisonous, they prefer to leave these birds alone. They are not harmful as long as they are not threatened in any way.

These birds survive best in the wild and in some zoos with special conditions to maintain their living conditions and preferences, and therefore they are not pets and should not be confined at home.

That said, there is no way you can consider this bird less than its counterpart – the giant bird of paradise!

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