The King of Saxony Bird-of-Paradise

The King of Saxony or Alberti has described in the 1894 bulletin of the British Ornithologist’s club by Adolf Bernard Meyer of Dresden Museum.  The bird name was given in the honor to the King of Saxony, Albert of Saxony, whose wife gave her name to the Queen Carola’s Parotia. The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise is about 22 cm long, referred to as "Kiss-a-ba" by the natives of Papua New Guinea and Western New Guinea, as a human interpretation of the male's loud call.

The male bird is black and yellow with dark brown iris, brownish grey legs a black bill with bright aqua-green gape and two long 50cm scallped, enamel-blue brow-plumes, which can be independently erected at the bird’s will. The male’s bird ornamental head plumes are so unusual that, when it was first specimen brought to Europe, it was thought to be a fake. However, the female is greyish brown with barred underparts. The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise likes to eat mainly fruits, false figs, berries, insects and arthropods. King-of-Saxony birds-of-paradise communicate with vocalizations, body posturing and movements. The male’s song is radio-static hiss, simultaneously last 4 to 5 seconds.  Moreover male birds are courting females perform elaborate movements with their occipital plumes during their songs, as well as varying posture to better attract the female’s attention. 

The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise, inhabits the montane forests of New Guinea, and distributed from the Weyland Mountains in Western New Guinea to the Kratke Range in Papua New Guinea. The birds is habitually inhabits usually 1500 to 2500 meters above sea level. The adult males are territorial; guard its territory from perches places in the tops of tall trees and sings to compete with males in neighboring territories. David Attenborough first time filmed the bird’s footage of mating ritual of the bird in 1996. There’s no known predator to King-of-Saxony birds-of-paradise however, humans being are notorious to hunt them for their exquisite plumage. The bird ecosystem role is likely to aid in seed dispersal of the fruits they eat. The adult male birds are forage mostly in the upper canopy, but females and males with female-plumage have been spotted in all levels of forest growth. 

The Male Moulted head-plumes are also hunted for their highly prized long plumes used by natives for ceremonial decoration, but regardless of this the species remains fairly common in parts of its range. It is considered to be of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The male birds habitually moves his occipital plumes while singing. The King of Saxony bird-of-paradise population has not been quantified but in large numbers and does not approach the thresholds for vulnerable under the range size criterion. In spite of facts, the population seems to be decreasing and decline 30% in more than 10 years of three generations. However, the bird is evaluated as least concern and reported to be widespread and common. The King of Saxony bird skulls have small depressions behind the occipital cavity to let for the musculature essential to control the occipital plumes. Moreover The New Guinea people of Wola imitate the courtship displays of P. alberti in their ritualistic dances; and use the occipital plumes in traditional headdresses.

Courtship displays and nesting of Pteridophora alberti take place between September and April. Only one egg is laid per clutch; and incubation of this single egg appears to last longer than 22 days. Morever age of sexual maturity is also unknown for this species, but sexual maturity usually takes 1 to 2 years for most birds of paradise.

Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia The Bird of Paradise

One of the most outstanding birds of paradise, the male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia has the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird, over three times the length of its body. The nature most beautiful bird “The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia” is also recognized as “Shaw Mayer’s Astrapia” (Astrapia Mayeri) can be easily called the bird of paradise. One of the most remarkable birds-of-paradise, the male ribbon-tailed Astrapia has the longest tail feathers in relation to body size of any bird, over three times the length of its body. The ribbon-tailed Astrapia is the most recently discovered bird-of-paradise. This stunning bird is distributed and endemic to subalpine forests in western part of the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. However, similar to other ornamental bird-of-paradise, the male is polygamous.

This species is likely to have a moderately small population within its small range. Hence, the bird is listed as near threatened on the ICUN Red list of Threatened species due to habitat lost and hunted for its plumes. The terrifically long tails of male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia’s sometimes have to pause to untangle their tails before they can fly away not a survival advantage. But the tails also help them to entice females. And by carefully choosing their mates, the females determine which males' genes and what kinds of tails survive to the next generation.

 In 1938, the great naturalist Fred Shaw Mayer, discovered the bird, however several believed explorer Jack Hides discovered the bird first, and later on Shaw Mayer became interested in it.  The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia is medium sized bird; up to 32 cm long excluding his tail, which is approximately I meter long. The body is normally velvet black, though the male has an iridescent olive green and bronze plumage with adorned with ornamental “ball” plume above its bill and two extremely long, ribbon like tail feathers. Therefore, the female bird is a brown with an iridescent head; hybrids between this species and the Stephanie’s Astrapia in the small area where their ranges overlap have been named Barnes Astrapia. The bird common call is a loud clear "waugh", or "wock, whit-whit".

 The Ribbon-Tailed-Astrapia diet consist of fruits, especially from the Umbrella Tree, and insects, spiders and frogs and also likes to upper montane and subalpine moss forests and forest edges; 1800-3450 m, mainly above 2450m. The birds commonly display occur during June, August, and December forms leks in which male bird displays from traditional perches, jumping back and forth between branches with erect, arched tail feathers. The recorded breeding seasons is March till May when females build and attend nests alone repeatedly builds nest in the same spot and site. The incubation period normally 21 days, and nestling period is 25 to 29 days. 

The Prothonotary Warbler

Indeed, Prothonotary Warbler is one of the most striking wood-warblers of North America, intrigues and delights those who visit its swampy world. The prothonotary warbler “Protonotaria citrea” belongs to warbler family, the only member of genus Protonotaria. The prothonotary warbler is a small songbird just 13 cm long and weighs 12.5 g. The gorgeous warbler has an olive back with blue-grey wings and tail, vivid yellow underparts, and a long pointed bill with black legs. The immature and female birds are slightly duller along with yellow head; however male bird has bright orange yellow head. It is extremely rare vagrant to western states mainly in California, but habitually it breeds in hardwood swamps in extreme southeastern Ontario and eastern U.S.  

This is the only warbler that nests in natural or artificial cavities, but many times it has used old downy woodpecker holes. Therefore, the male bird often builds various incomplete and unused nests, however female builds the real nest. Normally the nest contains 3 to 7 eggs. Well, the bird is named after prelates in the Roman Catholic church known as the protonotarii, who wore golden robes, and earlier it was famous with golden swamp warbler. 

The Prothonotary warbler likes foraging habitat is dense, woody streams, in low foliage, mainly for insects and snails. The bird call is very simple, but loud rigging sweet-sweet-sweet-sweet-sweet. The song of this bird call is a loud, dry chip, like that of a hooded warbler and its flight call is a loud seeep. Though this bird has been studied fairly well in breeding areas, information about effects of habitat loss on migrating and wintering populations is at present lacking and is precarious for future conservation and management of the species. The Prothonotary warbler number is endangered in Canada, and their population is declining due to loss of habitat. However persists in protected environments such as South Carolina’s Francis Beidler Forest currently home to over 2000 pairs. 

These birds are also parasitized by the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), or outcompeted for nest sites by the house wren (Troglodytes aedon). The prothonotary warbler became known in the 1940s as the bird established a connection between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss. Thus, Hiss likes to enjoy bird-watching, and once bragged about seeing a “prothonotary warbler”. Therefore, later on, Hiss testified to the similar incident, causing several members to become convinced of the pair's acquaintance. The birdwatchers don't often get a chance to see this lovely golden swamp warbler unless they’re in the suitable habitat, making the sight of a prothonotary an unforgettable experience. Source:

The Wilson’ Bird of Paradise

The Wilson’ bird of paradise (cicinnurus respublica) is a species of passerine bird belongs to Paradisaeidae family, lives on the hill and lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta islands in West Papua Indonesia, where it reported to be frequent in suitable habitat. The exotic bird has the unique outlook with striking scarlet, yellow, green and blue plumage, specially, the turquoise dome of Wilson' bird of paradise is hairless. It's just bare skin and two long curved tail feathers also play a vital role in helping the males attract partners. The male bird looks more colorful as compare to females, which has light brown plumage with dark blue dome. The male bird entice to female by clean the leaves or debris to make their own stages in forest. Wilson's bird-of-paradise is small, up to 21 cm long, can reach 6.3 inches in length and 1.8 to 2.2 ounces of weight. The blue bare skin on the crown of the bird's head is so vivid that it is clearly visible by night; the deep scarlet back and velvet green breast are lush, the curlicue tail gleaming bright silver. The bird mating season of Wilson's bird of paradise takes place two times per year: from May to June and in October.

The bird habitually passing from branch to branch on the flat ground by bending their body in different postures, spreading the colorful iridescent plumage and chirping. The male bird shake head lean neck or turn up tail and open their mouths in front of female to entice their partner.  The bird is discovered in 1850 when its courtship dance was recorded by the famous naturalist David Attenborough in the wild. The Wilson's bird-of-paradise diet is consists mainly of fruits, small insects and arthropods. The name "Wilson's bird of paradise" is coined by Napoleon's nephew who described unidentified bird that was purchased by British naturalist Edward Wilson.

Moreover, this is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available. Due to continue habitat loss, this species occurs within a very small range, and is likely to have a moderately small population, the bird is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The rate of decline is not thought to be more rapid as this species apparently persists in selectively logged forest. Hunting for skins may also contribute to the decline. The BBC cameraman David Attenborough first time filmed his unusual behavior in 1996 by dropping leaves on the forest floor, which irritated the bird into clearing them away. With the impressive colorful plumage, Wilson's bird of paradise is considered the world's most beautiful bird. Source: Charismatic Planet