Fun Blue Bird-of-paradise Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 29, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 18, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Blue bird-of-paradise facts talk about the plumage of this stunning bird.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The blue bird-of-paradise is one of the most magnificent birds in the world. Found in the eastern parts of Papua New Guinea, these birds have a striking blue-black coloration. Known for their unique courtship displays, there have been plenty of photos that have created excitement on social media. However, this attention has had some harmful impacts on this species of bird.

At present, these birds with their bright blue wings and feathers are affected by habitat loss and hunting of their tail feathers and plumes.  Within their range, the small population size of this species is a growing concern amongst ornithologists. The population range now is below 10,000 individuals

Interestingly, their scientific name is a tribute to Rudolf, a former crown prince of Austria.

Read on if you want to learn more about this beautiful avian creature. For more information on other birds, take a look at red bird-of-paradise facts and greater bird-of-paradise facts.

Blue Bird-of-Paradise Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue bird-of-paradise?

The blue bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi or Paradisornis rudolphi) is a species of bird that belongs to the birds-of-paradise family in Papua New Guinea. This particular species is often thought to be one of the most beautiful birds in the world.

What class of animal does a blue bird-of-paradise belong to?

Being a bird, the blue bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi or Paradisornis rudolphi) belongs to the class of Aves. The scientific name of these birds-of-paradise has two different variations. Initially, they were placed under the genus Paradisaea which currently has seven birds-of-paradise species. However, more recent studies have shown that the DNA evidence is enough to give this species their own genus, Paradisornis, which roughly translates to 'paradise bird' in Latin.

How many blue birds-of-paradise are there in the world?

The blue bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rudolphi) is endemic to the island of Papua New Guinea, like all birds-of-paradise species. They are found only in some places of Papua New Guinea and have been classified by conservation organizations as being Vulnerable. In their range, their small population size is a factor that has contributed to this. Currently, it can be assumed that the population of the blue bird-of-paradise is anywhere between 2,500-10,000, meaning they are quite rare.

Where does a blue bird-of-paradise live?

Occurring on the island of Papua New Guinea, the range of this bird is limited to a few places. They are mainly found in the forests of the central mountain ranges of Papua New Guinea. However, they are not concentrated in one area of these mountain ranges. They are spread patchily in areas such as Mount Sisa, the Owen Stanley range, Mount Giluwe, and the McAdam National Park further south.

What is a blue bird-of-paradise's habitat?

The habitat of the blue bird-of-paradise is mainly made up of montane forest ranges. Found at an elevation of 3,600-6,600 ft (1097-2012 m), they mainly inhabit areas of 45oo ft (1372 m) above the ground. Interestingly, these birds are not present in what many scientists perceive as suitable habitat ranges in areas of eastern Papua New Guinea. Instead, blue birds-of-paradise are observed in primary and secondary forests in the country.

Who does blue bird-of-paradise live with?

While the display behavior of the males of this species is quite well known, what may surprise a few people is that these birds are generally solitary. The male blue bird-of-paradise is almost always solitary and can sometimes be seen foraging with a few females and others birds-of-paradise species. The females, on the other hand, are solitary too but they are spotted in photos and videos with their young.

How long does a blue bird-of-paradise live?

The Paradisaea rudolphi or the blue bird-of-paradise can live anywhere between five to eight years. This is quite similar to other sister species such as the red birds-of-paradise.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for the blue bird-of-paradise goes on throughout the year. However, it has been noticed that most males and females breed during the later half months of the year, between July and February. The nesting takes place during the winter months with the eggs laid in the spring months of April.

We already know that the male blue bird-of-paradise is primarily solitary by nature. However, during mating, the male bird is not monogamous and has a reputation of being very promiscuous. The breeding season starts when the males start to display their unique courtship ritual. Perched upside down on a thin branch of a trees, male birds expand and contract their chest fanning out their violet-blue plumes and feathers. This display by males is not aimed at any particular female, but at any bird of the opposite gender that is in the vicinity. If the female bird is impressed with this display, the birds will mate.

The litter size of this species is usually one, but in rare cases, it can go up to two. The incubation period is around 18 days, with the mother being the sole carer for the young hatchling. She is also responsible for building the nest.

What is their conservation status?

Due to their endemic status within the country of Papua New Guinea, the blue bird-of-paradise is Endangered. They are currently classified as Vulnerable by evaluations carried out by the IUCN in their Red List.

Blue Bird-of-Paradise Fun Facts

What does blue bird-of-paradise look like?

The blue bird-of-paradise is often considered to be one of the most beautiful birds on the planet. Being distinctively different from other similar species, the male bird is richly decorated. They have bright blue wings and plumes with the overall appearance of the bird, including the head and the nape, being glossy black. The crown of the head also has traces of red in it. Female birds of this species do not have this carmine red plumage on their head.

Apart from the head, the other colorful spot in the bird is the eye-ring. The eye-rings are basically the description of the feathers that surround the eye of the bird. The eye-ring is whitish-silver and provides a great contrast to the dark colors of the bird. The eye also has a dark brown iris. The bill on both sexes is white. The feet and legs of the bird are a mixture of purple and gray.

The underparts of male birds are also blackish-blue in the coloration of the plumes. The female bird on the other hand has chestnut-brown underparts and this chestnut-brown plumage can be seen when the bird is in flight. Juveniles are similar to the adult female bird but with darker plumes and a grayish bill.

Photos of blue birds-of-paradise also highlight their tail feathers and legs.

How cute are they?

Despite not being as colorful as the rainbow lorikeet or species of Indian peafowl, the blue bird-of-paradise is one of the most stunning birds to look at. Their striking dark colors contrasted with traces of white and red on their plumes are beautiful. Many find their courtship display to be unique and adorable.

How do they communicate?

This species communicates with each other via vocal sounds. Calls such as the low-pitched 'kouwi-carr-carrr-carr-carr' and high-pitched 'kwank' are common. During courtship, males have a typical 'caw' sound which changes to chitterings if the opposite sex is not interested.

How big is a blue bird-of-paradise?

The blue bird-of-paradise is a small bird with an average length of 12 in (30 cm). Males have a tail that is almost more than twice the length of their body.  In comparison, the Australian magpie is somewhat bigger than this species.

How fast can a blue bird-of-paradise fly?

Unfortunately, the blue bird-of-paradise hasn't been studied with respect to their flying speeds.

How much does a blue bird-of-paradise weigh?

The average weight of the blue bird-of-paradise is around 4.3-6.7 oz (124-189 g). The species is known to exhibit sexual dimorphism.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female blue birds-of-paradise are referred to as a cock and hen, respectively.

What would you call a baby blue bird-of-paradise?

Young blue birds-of-paradise are called hatchlings, chicks, or juveniles.

What do they eat?

Being omnivores, the blue bird-of-paradise is known to eat lizards, possibly skinks such as the blue-tongue skink and other animals, while also having a diet full of seeds and fruits.

Are they dangerous?

No, of course not. These magnificent birds are not dangerous at all.

Would they make a good pet?

Due to their threatened status, it would not be a good idea to have them as pets.

Did you know...

The nest of the bird is in the shape of a circular bowl and is usually 13-62 ft (4-19 m) above the ground. The materials used for building the nest include palm leaf fibers, pandanus leaves, and casuarina needles.

Why is it called a bird-of-paradise?

One of the reasons why the term 'bird-of-paradise' is used for several species is due to their beautiful appearance and unique courtship displays that are very colorful.

Does the blue bird-of-paradise migrate?

With regards to migration, the blue bird-of-paradise does not show any signs of doing so. They are endemic to the island of Papua New Guinea.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our spotted eagle-owl facts and green rosella facts pages.

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

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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