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New Guinea Home of the Birds of Paradise

Updated on May 7, 2013

Earthly Paradise known as-New Guinea

New Guinea is the only place in the world today that birds of paradise can be found why is that so we do not know for sure. At one time people would tell a tale in that they would say that the birds of paradise must have come from the garden of Eden as nothing earthly could be so beautiful. The first European Scientists named them- birds of paradise. It is believed that they have survived on New Guinea because they have no natural enemies as there is no carnivores that live on New Guinea. The only true threat to these beautiful birds is man who for the last 30,000 years. Man has been so obsessed with these birds of beauty that many tribes have taken their plumes making head wear trying to emulate the birds of paradise. They have used their plumes as a form of money used as a form of payment in a wedding ceremony different plumes would be valued differently.

Birds Numbers are Falling!

One of the most valued plumes are the 3ft plumes of the Black Sickel Bill which is now nearly extinct. It is now protected so the tribes are no longer allowed to hunt them for their lovely plumes. Conservationists are very worried that the birds of paradise numbers are falling. Because of the dense forested, mountainous region they are found in it makes keeping track of them very difficult. The terrain is very hard to carry camera equipment and supplies through it takes very determined people with much patience to catch a glimpse of these elusive birds. But those who have had the fortune of seeing these birds in their natural habitat agree that all the difficulties in getting there were well worth it.

30-40 Plumes in One Head Wear!

Tribes that used the birds of paradise plumes in their ceremonial outfits would use between 30-40 plumes in one head wear. The birds that they loved so much would be killed so they could take on the symbolic look of the birds of paradise. These acts would be contributing to the threat to the birds of paradise being able to survive here on earth.

Displaying their Beautiful Plumage

Greater birds of paradise like to display in groups; a group of males display and a female will choose the one she likes by giving a beck on the peck on the head letting the male know that she accepts him. The King bird on the other hand prefers to do his displaying alone. He likes to show off plumage so he seeks out a spot where light gets threw. He tends to be less shy and picks himself a display perch where he then proceeds to call for a female. He puffs up displaying little black discs that are at the end of plumes; this he will do even if a female is not present.

Picking the Perfect Spot

The Parotia bird is very particular where he does his dance which is near or on the ground. He has six black plumes on his head tipped with black pendant. His chest plate is an iredesant green/gold. He clears a spot where he will do is dance; females will check out different courts in the area before they make their decision on what male they will choose as their mate. This male has the most complex dance routine than any other bird in the world.
The Superb bird of Paradise has a black cape with a blue/green breast plate. He makes a clicking sound during his dance which is from his quills clicking together not unlike fingers snapping.


I hope that we can keep these wonderful birds here on earth and don't have to wait to see these heavenly birds in heaven. We must as humans become more responsible in trying to do what is needed to save endangered species like the birds of paradise. We have to try and remember that we share this planet with other life forms it is not just for us to do as we wish and not thinking what harm our actions could be doing to the other living species that share our planet. Hopefully we can keep the birds feathers on them instead of being stuck on some head wear. I believe they would look much better if the birds were wearing them instead of us. Lets try harder to save all the living species we can that share this earthly home with us.


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    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi I have seen a couple of BBC docs on New Guinea and the extraordinary birds. Amazing what we poor males have to do to keep you ladies interested!


      PS You have spelled "Guinea" wrongly in the header