Bird of Paradise, a tropical bird known for the brilliant plumage of the male. There are about 40 species of birds of paradise. They live mostly on New Guinea and neighboring islands. A few species live in northern Australia. The brilliantly colored feathers of the males were once widely sought as decorations for women's hats.
Some birds of paradise are as large as crows, but most of them are about the size of robins. They are forest birds, nesting in tropical trees and feeding on seeds, fruits, and insects. The males are colored with combinations of purple, orange, scarlet, crimson, steel green, violet, and glossy black. Their graceful plumage often extends to several times the length of the body. Some species have long, flowing plumes; others have tufts, collars, hoods, and fans of feathers. During courtship, the males posture to display their plumage. The females are dull-colored. The nest is a loose collection of sticks, leaves, and moss, in which the female lays one to three spotted white eggs.
Birds of paradise make up the family Paradisaeidae.