Raggiana bird-of-paradise

Raggiana bird-of-paradise
Paradisaea raggiana

Photo by Bruce Beehler (Australian Geographic)
Common name:
Order Passeriformes
Family Paradisaeidae
This species indemic to island of New Guinea, being found in eastern and southern Papua-New guinea and marginally across the border into Indonesia.

These birds are 28-34 cm long but the males reach 70 cm if the tail plumes are included. The males weigh 310-340 g while the smaller females weigh 170-200 g.
The Raggiana bird-of-paradise is mostly found in lowland rainforests, but also in some mountain rainforests, second growths and sometimes in rural gardens.
They are mainly frugivorous, eating the fruits whole and thus being an important seed disperser for fruiting tree in New Guinea. They also eat some insects and other arthropods.

Raggiana birds-of-paradise breed in September-November. They are polygynous, with the males congregating in leks where they perform an elaborate courtship dance to attract the females who choose their favourite dancer. After mating, the female builds a cup-shaped nest composed of leaves and leaf pieces, stems, ferns and other plant fibres, and lined with hairs. The nest is placed in a fork of a tree, 2-11 m above the ground. There she lays 1-2 pinkish buff eggs, which she incubates alone for 18-20 days. The chicks are raised by the female alone and fledge about 3 weeks after hatching, but continue to receive food from their mother for over 1 month.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be common. Even though the plumes of this species are heavily cropped by natives for ceremonial headdresses, the practice is not a threat to their long-term survival and the population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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