Wilson's bird-of-paradise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wilson's bird-of-paradise
Wilson's Bird of Paradise Best.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paradisaeidae
Genus: Cicinnurus
Species: C. respublica
Binomial name
Cicinnurus respublica
Bonaparte, 1850
  • Diphyllodes respublica (Bonaparte, 1850)
  • Cicinnurus respublika (misspelling) [2]

The Wilson's bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus respublica) is a species of passerine bird of the family Paradisaeidae.[3]

The first footage of the Wilson's bird-of-paradise ever to be filmed was recorded in 1996 by David Attenborough for the BBC documentary Attenborough in Paradise. He did so by dropping leaves on the forest floor, which irritated the bird into clearing them away.


The controversial scientific name respublica of this species was given by Charles Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's nephew and a republican idealist. The habit of zoologists at that time to dedicate newly discovered species to some king, queen or aristocrat deeply irritated him. In order to assert his convictions, he chose to name respublica this species to honor the republic and not the royalty.[4]

Charles Lucien Bonaparte described the bird from a badly damaged trade specimen purchased by British ornithologist Edward Wilson. In doing so, he beat John Cassin, who wanted to name the bird in honour of Wilson, by several months. Thirteen years later, in 1863, the German zoologist Heinrich Agathon Bernstein discovered the home grounds of the Wilson's bird-of-paradise in Waigeo Island.


An Indonesian endemic, the Wilson's bird-of-paradise is distributed to the hill and lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta Islands off West Papua.

Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range and exploitation, the Wilson's bird-of-paradise is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).


Its preferred habitat is the hill forest at 300 m of altitude, more rarely the lowland rainforest and the middle mountain forest.[5]


Cicinnurus respublica

Wilson's bird-of-paradise is rather small. Males can reach a length of 16 centimetres (6.3 in) (21cm including central rectrices) and a weight of 53–67 g., while females can reach a length of 16 cm,but a weight of 52–60 g.[5] The male is a red and black bird-of-paradise, with a yellow mantle on its neck, light green mouth, rich blue feet and two curved violet tail feathers. The head is naked blue, with a black double cross pattern on it. The female is a brownish bird with bare blue crown.

In the field, 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.


Their diet consists of fruits, insects, arthropods and other small invertebrates.

Rituals of seduction[edit]

Males of these birds clear an area of rainforest to create a 'display court'. Then they perform an elaborate mating dance to impress a potential mate.[6] The male usually exhibits the attractive breast shield and accompanies the mating dance with song and calls.[7]



  • Beehler, B.M., T.K. Pratt & D.A.Zimmerman 1986. Birds of New Guinea. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02394-8.
  • Frith, C. B. & Frith, D. W. (2009). Family Paradisaeidae (Birds of Paradise). In del Hoyo, J. Elliott, A. & Christie, D. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Vol. 14. pp. 404-459. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  • Morten Strange. A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Indonesia. — Princeton University Press, 2003. — С. 382. — 416 с. — ISBN 978-0691114958.
  • Ottaviani, M. (2012). Les Oiseaux de Paradis – Histoire Naturelle et photographies, 320 pages. Editions Prin, France.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Cicinnurus respublica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Biolib
  3. ^  International Olympic Committee
  4. ^ Ottaviani, M. (2012). Les Oiseaux de Paradis – Histoire Naturelle et photographies, 320 pages. Editions Prin, France.
  5. ^ a b Frith, C. & Frith, D. (2017). Wilson's Bird-of-paradise (Cicinnurus respublica) Handbook of the Birds of the World.
  6. ^ Christina Holvey Secret bird of paradise dating dance revealed
  7. ^ Arkive