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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 06, 2021

Paradise Riflebird: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Read these amazing paradise rifle bird fun facts.

The paradise riflebird (ptiloris paradiseus) is one of the most exotic birds of the world. Their scientific name and description were given by William Swainson. Another common name, Victoria's riflebird (bird of paradise) was given in relation to the late queen, Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Did you know, this species is solitary. The paradise riflebird dance is popular. Most people had only seen the birds of paradise in paintings. The paradise crow image was not common until 2007. Tim Laman, a wildlife photographer along with his partner took various expeditions to capture pictures of all species of this family. The distribution range of this black bird extends from the forests of eastern Australia to Queensland.

For more relatable content, check out these umbrellabird facts and ovenbird facts for kids.

Paradise Riflebird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a paradise riflebird?

The paradise riflebird is a medium-sized bird of Australia, a member of the birds of paradise.

What class of animal does a paradise riflebird belong to?

Paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) belongs to the class Aves of Animalia kingdom.

How many paradise riflebirds are there in the world?

The exact population size of this Australian species is not recorded.

Where does a paradise riflebird live?

The distribution range of paradise riflebird is widespread and is endemic to eastern to the temperate rainforest of Australia. It lives in the foothills of New South Wales and Queensland, where it inhabits rainforests.

What is a paradise riflebird's habitat?

The paradise riflebird range map includes subtropical and temperate rainforests. They like to breed in sclerophyll woods, both wet and dry. The rainforest is relatively close to the sclerophyll woods. They also inhabit Mountains and foothills, as well as adjacent wetter eucalypt forests, which are also home to them. They are present at elevations between 650 ft (200 m), and 1640 ft (500 m). In winters they can be spotted at sea levels. The riflebird uses the area close to a rainforest as its habitat hence they are exposed to the risk of becoming vulnerable or endangered due to the destruction of rainforests.

Who do paradise riflebirds live with?

For the most part, they are nonterritorial and solitary. During the early breeding seasons, they are spotted in pairs and the females are rarely seen in groups of 5 or 6 while foraging.

How long does a paradise riflebird live?

In the wild, this species lives for about eight years. Their average lifespan is about five years.

How do they reproduce?

The paradise riflebird is oviparous and reproduces by spawning during the breeding season that begins in September and ends in mid-February. Males, in an attempt to impress the females, put on a courtship display. When the male bird is in the mood to mate they open up their wings like a fan flaunting the iridescent green-blue color of the feathers and move gracefully. It makes small hops here and there that are perfectly in sync with the head movements. They also move their head sideways while opening the beak to expose the yellow mouth. It is also said that this Australian bird has a dark appearance in order to make the iridescent blue-green sheen patches pop during the display. If the female fancies the courtship display and iridescent neck feathers she responds to them. The average clutch size is two. These inventive designers adorn their bowl-shaped nests made of twigs and leaves with orchids, moss, and shredded snakeskin. Females nurture the young birds entirely on their own, with no aid. The incubation phase lasts for around 16-20 days, followed by a 20-day feeding period. The well-nourished chicks then flee.

What is their conservation status?

This species is common throughout its distribution range. For this reason, the IUCN has placed the Paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) species in the Least Concern category. However, their population is decreasing and more than 30% decline in the next three generations is estimated.

Paradise Riflebird Fun Facts

What do paradise riflebirds look like?

The paradise rilflebird is medium-sized and sexually dimorphic. Adult females have a gray-brown body whereas the adult male has a black body. Their plumage does resemble one another to some extent. In males, the tail is quite short and the tail feathers have an iridescent blue-green sheen plumage. The outer vanes of a few primary feathers placed positioned near the vividly colored patch are dark providing a contrast. This is a major attraction in courtship displays during the breeding season between September and February. Their upper breast and belly regions are black with a velvety finish while the lower breast is iridescent green. The female has gray-brown underparts. The flight feathers are reddish-brown and underparts are light brown and have brown U-shaped markings. They have a white throat and smear on the head, right above the eye. Both the adult males and females have a similar bill black in color. The latter has it in more curved and longer form. They have dark gray feet with sharply curved talons. The iris is black with a brown rim.

Both young males and females have brown plumage that is identical to the adult female riflebird.

The adult male paradise has a black breast and bill.

How cute are they?

The little display of their vividly colored feathers in the breeding season by the male paradise riflebird is the highlight of this species. The curved bill compliments the size of these birds. The rich metallic combination of black, blue, and green and the plumage make this Australian bird look royal.

How do they communicate?

Paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) communicates by calling and some physical gestures. The calls of this bird are similar to the calls of Queen Victoria's riflebird. They produce loud prolonged hisses 'yaaarrrsss' often compared to the sound produced by the passage of bullets. The display during the breeding season (September- February) indicates that they want to mate.

How big is a paradise riflebird?

The male black bird is 11.8 in (30 cm). The female paradise riflebird is 11.4 in (29 cm).

How fast can a paradise riflebirdd fly?

There is no data on the pace at which they travel. Birds of paradise in general are incredible flyers. The majority of them are noted for their fast flying speed while hunting prey or fleeing predators. Hence, the velocity of the rifle bird can be presumed to be high.

How much does a paradise riflebird weigh?

Paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) is sexually dimorphic, hence the weight between sexes differs. The male is slightly heavier than the female with their average weights being 4.7 to 5.5 oz (134 to 155 g) and 3.0 to 3.9 oz (86 to 112 g) respectively.

What are the male and female names of the species?

This species does not have sex-specific names. They both are referred to as mature paradise riflebird (ptiloris paradiseus).

What would you call a baby paradise riflebird?

The baby is called a hatchling, it has no special name.

What do they eat?

Like other birds of paradise, this species is also insectivorous and frugivorous, their diet mainly consisting of fruits and insects like spiders, crickets, bees, centipedes. They are often hunted by hawks and snakes. Apart from this, the Australian bird is also hunted by humans for its rich plumage.

Are they dangerous?

They are calm and non-aggressive birds of paradise, hence are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The paradise riflebird should not be kept as a pet. They are already hunted in large numbers and the population is dwindling. Their natural habitat is best suited for them. They might not be a great fit in our environment.

Did you know...

This Australian species wraps snakeskin around its nest for decorative purposes as well as to ward of other birds trying to harm the young ones or steal their nests.

This is not the only species of birds of paradise found in Australia there are a few other species.

The Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Otago Museum, the Australian Museum Research Institute, and the Home Museum of Discovery and Science all have exhibits of this Australian bird.

According to recent research, the majority of the birds in the museum collection were males. The eye-catching paradise crow feathers and wings are, unfortunately, one of the main reasons for its hunting.

The young male paradise riflebird spends the first few years looking like the female having no iridescent colors on its wings. They are not born dancers, it takes a lot of work and practice to become one. Because females are really picky, they are always under pressure to put up a great performance.

Are paradise riflebirds endangered?

The paradise riflebird ptiloris paradiseus is not endangered right now. Their population density however is steadily falling due to excessive poaching and habitat destruction. If these practices don't come to an end then they might soon reach the thresholds of vulnerability.

Why is called paradise riflebird?

The bird gets its common name Riflebird due to the resemblance between its velour black plumage and the uniform of the British army rifle brigade.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these red bird of paradise facts and cardinal bird facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable paradise riflebird coloring pages.

Second image by Mike's Birds.

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