Blue Bird-of-Paradise Paradisaea rudolphi

Blue Bird-of-Paradise Paradisaea rudolphi

Regarded by some ornithologists as the loveliest of all birds, the Blue Bird-of-paradise was discovered by Carl Hunstein in 1884 and its scientific name commemorates the ill-fated Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (His 1889 death, a suicide, after murdering his 17 year old mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera, made international headlines, fueled international conspiracy rumours and ultimately may have sealed the long-term fate of the Habsburg monarchy—plus he looks a little like Ryan Gosling).

Oh, back to the bird…

The Blue Bird-of-paradise is endemic to Papua New Guinea. It is distributed through the mountain forests of southeastern New Guinea.

The male is polygamous and performs a breathtaking courtship display. But unlike all other Paradisaea species, he performs solitary with an attending female nearby. In display, the male hangs from a branch upside down. The black oval with red margin at the centre of his chest is rhythmically enlarged and contracted. His violet blue plumes spread out in a fan, swaying its body back and forth while the central tail feathers form two impressive arches down to either side. Throughout his performance he vocalizes softly in a low but harsh vibrating voice.

Tim Lamon one of the top wildlife photographers in the world, and the premier photographer of these elusive birds.

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